Hats Off to the Bull

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Hats Off to the Bull
Hats Off to the Bull cover.jpg
Studio album by Chevelle
Released December 6, 2011
Recorded 2011 at Los Angeles, California
Length 42:49
Label Epic
Producer Joe Barresi
Chevelle chronology
Sci-Fi Crimes
(2009)Sci-Fi Crimes2009
Hats Off to the Bull
Stray Arrows: A Collection of Favorites
(2012)Stray Arrows: A Collection of Favorites2012
Singles from Hats Off to the Bull
  1. "Face to the Floor"
    Released: October 10, 2011
  2. "Hats Off to the Bull"
    Released: February 16, 2012[4]
  3. "Same Old Trip"
    Released: July 24, 2012

Hats Off to the Bull is the sixth studio album by the American rock band Chevelle released on December 6, 2011. The first single, "Face to the Floor", was released on October 10, 2011. On February 16, 2012, Chevelle made it official that "Hats Off to the Bull" would be the second single off this album.[4]

On November 29, 2011 Hats Off to the Bull was premiered on Revolver Magazine.[5] On November 30, 2011 "Same Old Trip" was premiered on Noisecreep.[6]

Hats Off to the Bull has sold 239,000 copies in the US.[7]


Pete Loeffler, when talking about the album in an interview with Artistdirect, cited his difficulty when writing saying he read a lot of books and went on to cite Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins as an example of getting away from music when hitting a wall, quoted saying "I'm constantly rewriting them and trying not to rhyme too much." He also stated that the song "Clones" touches on the criticism that the band sounds too much like the band Tool, but going on to say it's about "getting shit from peers and people saying that you're ripping somebody else off" and that the song goes back to his youth as well as one other track.[8]

The band also stated that "Clones" felt like it belonged on Point #1, questioning if it was a negative or positive direction.[8]

In the interview with Artistdirect.com, Pete also said that he and Bernardini were on a "Stanley Kubrick kick", noting The Shining as one of the movies they'd record and watch at the end of the night on the tour bus, but marked that he found a humor to it and that he had also watched all the Star Trek movies back-to-back.[8]

The album's title comes from Pete's disgust at bullfighting. He explains "It’s such a heartless sport and it’s so torturous for these animals ... We got the idea of rooting for the bull instead. We root for the underdog."[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[10]
Alternative Addiction3/5 stars[11]
The A.V. ClubC-[12]
Loudwire4/5 stars[13]
PopMatters7/10 stars[14]

Hats Off to the Bull received generally positive reviews from critics. AllMusic reviewer Gregory Heaney said, "Heavy and dramatic, the album is packed full of tightly coiled, muscular riffs, giving the album a controlled feeling more like a slow burn than an explosive, cathartic release."[10] Ryan Jones at Alternative Addiction states "The guitar lines and effects here are nothing short of fantastic.", citing the songs "Face to the Floor" and "Same Old Trip". He does, however, state it's not as good as Chevelle's past albums, citing "...while this album starts and finishes strong, the middle is a mundane experience."[11]

In About.com's article for their Best Rock Albums of 2011, in which Hats Off to the Bull placed sixth, author Tim Grierson said, "Chevelle have yet to turn into mature, reflective balladeers -- and that's a very good thing. With Hats Off to the Bull, the Chicago trio continue to deliver on-point rockers full of snarling nastiness. Taut and lean, catchy and mean, these 11 tracks expertly deliver their payload in four concise, punishing minutes of superb guitar rock."[15]

PopMatters reviewer Pete Crigler said, "On Hats Off to the Bull, Chevelle’s sixth album, they return to their roots with the amazingly heavy first single, "Face to the Floor", which has already become one of their biggest hits. Built on an amazing riff, the song sounds just like Chevelle of 2002, and in this day and age, that’s something that’s perfectly acceptable to listen to."[14]

Sputnikmusic reviewer Elijah K. said, "Hats Off to the Bull, like all Chevelle records, is truly a solid album if there ever was one. It opens up with the heavy hitter, 'Face to the Floor', and largely keeps the energy flowing from there. Chevelle’s sixth proper full-length is a well-produced and overall very enjoyable rock album. However, the band is starting to show age in their formula, making Hats Off to the Bull feel like it's been down a very, very well-traveled path."[1]

The song "Hats Off to the Bull" was ranked at No. 90 on Music Choice's Top 100 Songs of 2012.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Pete Loeffler; all music composed by Pete Loeffler, Sam Loeffler and Dean Bernardini[16].

1."Face to the Floor"3:38
2."Same Old Trip"3:09
4."The Meddler"4:13
7."Hats Off to the Bull"3:55
10."Prima Donna"3:40
Total length:42:49


  • Pete Loeffler - vocals, guitar
  • Sam Loeffler - drums
  • Dean Bernardini - bass, organ on "Prima Donna" and "Envy", additional drums on "Envy"
  • Natalie Bernardini - backing vocals on "Same Old Trip"
  • Joe Barresi - co-producer, engineer, mixer
  • Chevelle - co-producer
  • William Albert Allard - album cover
  • Jun Murakawa - assistant engineer
  • Ted Jensen - mastering

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
Billboard 200 (U.S.) 20[19]
Hard Rock Albums 3[19]
Rock Albums 5[19]
Alternative Albums 5[19]
Digital Albums 7[19]
Tastemaker Albums 15[19]


  1. ^ a b c K, Eli. "Chevelle-Hats Off to the Bull". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Year When Rock Just Spun Its Wheels". New York Times. December 29, 2001. Retrieved July 23, 2015. 
  3. ^ . AOL Radio https://web.archive.org/web/20130227033836/http://www.aolradioblog.com/feature/top-10-rock-songs-of-2012/. Archived from the original on February 27, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[need quotation to verify]
  4. ^ a b "Chevelle, 'Hats Off to the Bull' – Song Review". Loudwire.com. Retrieved February 20, 2012. 
  5. ^ Grow, Kory. "Chevelle Debut New Song 'Hats Off to the Bull'". Revolver Magazine. Revolver Magazine. Retrieved November 30, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Chevelle Strike Back Hard on 'Same Old Trip' -- Song Premiere". www.noisecreep.com/. November 30, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Upcoming Releases - HITS Daily Double". HITS Daily Double. Retrieved July 23, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c "Chevelle ARTISTdirect.com interview -- Song Meanings". artistdirect.com/. Retrieved January 9, 2011. 
  9. ^ Kory Grow (November 8, 2011). "Chevelle Explain 'Hats Off to the Bull' Cover Art - Heavy Metal News | Music Videos |Golden Gods Awards". revolvermag.com. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Heaney, Gregory. "Chevelle-Hats Off to the Bull". Allmusic. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Review of "Hats Off to the Bull" by Chevelle | Alternative Addiction - Get Addicted First". Alternative Addiction. December 5, 2011. Archived from the original on May 24, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  12. ^ N, Tuyet. "Chevelle-Hats Off to the Bull". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 29, 2012. 
  13. ^ R, Liz. "Chevelle-Hats Off to the Bull". Loudwire. Retrieved January 29, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Crigler, Pete. "Chevelle-Hats Off to the Bull". PopMatters. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Best Rock Albums of 2011". About.com. January 16, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Chevelle: 'Hats Off To The Bull' Track Listing, Artwork Revealed". Blabbermouth.net. November 8, 2011. Archived from the original on November 10, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Hats Off to the Bull Available for Pre-order on iTunes!". Chevelle. Archived from the original on November 20, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2011. 
  18. ^ "hats off to the bull - BestBuy". Retrieved December 3, 2011. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f "Hats Off to the Bull - Chevelle chart positions". billboard.com. Retrieved December 6, 2011.