Chevelle At The Marquee

Chevelle is made up of as the name implies, Sam, Pete and Joe Loeffler (three of a total of seven siblings), brothers-as their name implies. Chevelle are gearheads -a passion passed down from their father, whose hobby is building street rods. They are also carpenters-another direct imprint of their father’s. But first and foremost, Chevelle is a distinctly intense rock band from Chicago.

Musically, Chevelle create a soundscape steeped in shards of moody guitars and propulsive rhythms, while intensely personal and emotional lyrics swivel clarity within mystery. Is it any wonder that the band’s influences range from Helmet, Firehose and Tool, to Sinead O’Connor and even Cat Stevens? Singer / lyricist Pete wears his heart on his sleeve, but does so more through vocal emotion than black and white dialogue.

For four and a half years, Chevelle has been steadily building momentum as one of the “Windy City’s” most promising young rock bands. Sam, Pete and Joe seem to read one another’s thoughts on stage, via a sibling-inherent telepathy. The trait is unusual, yet somehow expected from three who have spent their whole lives in such close quarters. While they were habitually bashing away in their parents’ basement from the beginning, the band was also busy booking gigs.

Black Map creates music driven by the pulse of their early genesis as a trio who packed itself into a rehearsal room with pure intentions, a 12-pack and a boundary-smashing lack of prohibitions or rules. Their commitment is to each other, to what feels right; to meditation on big riffs that lurch and churn, dripping with atmosphere, powering bold and evocative statements.

Strip away pretension, forego the focus on shiny perfectionism, and the heavy rock roots of massive guitars, drums, bass and vocals evoke primal feelings and channel universal urges more complicated styles seldom touch.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but in the case of Black Map, the destination beckoning from within the soundscape of their songs is someplace much less literal, ‘though no less devilishly foreboding.

Black Map is the union of three established Northern California rock musicians, driven by a shared dedication to big riffs, big drums and powerful, straight-ahead, all enveloping rock n’ roll. Black Map consists of the versatile voice and walloping bass groove of Ben Flanagan (Trophy Fire), the wall-of-sound big riff histrionics of guitarist Mark Engles (dredg) and the unstoppable driving force and tasteful skill of drummer Chris Robyn (Far).

Their visceral approach turned the heads of the people who connect with the atmospheric hard rock of Deftones and Tool, the melancholy beauty of A Perfect Circle, the cerebral yet primal drive of Baroness, with a definitive knack for the melodic and delicate, from the Cardigans to Elbow, and even the theatrically dramatic, from Peter Gabriel era Genesis to Pink Floyd.

A few songs became a few shows and an EP which begat a debut album, …And We Explode (2014), which featured the buzzy single, “I’m Just the Driver.” The metaphorical “black map” of the band’s steadily building catalog and dedicated following led them to secure live performance spots alongside the mighty Chevelle, multi platinum rockers Bush, Circa Survive, and Highly Suspect in addition to multiple club shows as a headlining act.

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