This Kind of Thinking Could Do Us In (Epic)

The one thing harder than writing a No. 1 hit is following it up, and trying to craft a sequel to 2002's "Send the Pain Below" weighed heavily on Chicago modern-rock phenoms Chevelle. Crumpling under the pressure, the band pulled a desperate move on its third LP: It's gone from being merely influenced by Tool to emulating the prog-rock cult figures so blatantly that the music is indistinguishable from the B-cuts of 1993's Undertow.

Where Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan presented himself as a bloody survivor of unfathomable acts, Chevelle offers mere lamentations: Love's a bitch, war is bad, we're all gonna die, and those are all bummers. Ultimately, the biggest miscalculation in This Kind of Thinking is not taking the tribute further. While Chevelle was pilfering Tool's scraping bass lines and harmonic growls, it would have done well to also lift a few rants about psychic evolution and numerology. It still might not have been profound, but it'd have been deeper than biting Staind's act, too.