At the Drive-In
Relationship of Command


5.0
classic

Review

by Adam Turner-Heffer USER (38 Reviews)
March 29th, 2005 | 1718 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


There seems to be a certain formula to make a band truly influential. A few unwritten laws that bands live by, not on purpose, just because that's the way their music takes them. First, you've got to work hard at it, no matter how thankless and unnoticed you are at the time, just keep working. Some of the most influential bands of our time have all been known for playing gigs that don't even sell out a 300 capacity gig in their early days. Second, you've got to have a strong passion for music, and whatever else gives you your drive. A lot of the time it's politics, sometimes about straightedge, sometimes both. Whatever it is, just write about what makes you passionate. Third, write a record that changes everything. Bring all your musical influences, destroy them and rebuild to make something truly, fresh, innovative and exciting. For At the Drive-in, this was that record.

Released in 2000, this album made At the Drive-in officially, the most exciting band of the 21st century, and so far, they have not been knocked off that spot, despite being defunct. This, their major label debut, was something of a mix of everything that got them there in the first place, after two, virtually untouched upon hardcore records, and then an EP of their Hispanic roots, they, with producing prince of metal, Ross Robinson, wrote something, that would blow all else apart.

Now comes the personal touch. If I'm honest, back in 2000 when I first heard their, 'hit-single" 'One Armed Scissor', it made me shut up and listen. But, I didn't like it. Cedric Bixler's vocals annoyed me, and really at the time, for such an explosion of intriguing music, one couldn't really comprehend. So, now, after a couple of years, hearing more people loving them, and then hearing them again myself, it became apparent that ATD-I had followed rule number 4 of the truly influential bands - the band will always be ten times more appreciated after they have split up.

And the fact that ATD-I, or possibly just the record label, I'm not sure what the story is, has re-released their entirely back catalogue just before Christmas 2004, it's apparent that they know that themselves. And too right, because this is an amazing album, from the simply mind-blowing aggressive punk of 'One Armed Scissor' alone has enough energy to power a council-estate in Romford for a week, to the desperately heart breaking 'Invalid Litter Dept.' featuring the harrowing real-life story of the women of Juarez, Mexico, who are being raped and killed in an organised ring owning a series of factories the women work in called 'Maquildoras". What is possibly most heart-felt about this is that Cedric and Paul both grew up in El-Paso, Mexico, a town that neighbours Juarez.

But, all good-things have to come to an end, the band finally got to the top of that mountain, but they couldn't co-exist together anymore. Conforming to rule number 5, split up at the peak of your fame and talent. Now, not all influential bands have done this, in fact some didn't have a choice (suicide/murder) but it would be a fair comment that the majority of these great bands never ***ed up by going too far with it. They knew when to end it. But, as rule 4 suggests, who cares if they are split up? If they had kept going there's a major possibility they could of gone stale in comparison. What we have got is a record, storming with loud and proud songs, with song structures, timings and general style of playing seen in a way no-one has done before, and we have our memories of their absolutely stunning live shows (rule 6). From the tribal beats of 'Arcarsenal" to the emotional 'Non-Zero Possibility" this is a band who defined a genre they weren't even strictly apart of: emo, and influenced many bands who took elements of their sound and turned it into something new, like ATD-I would have done when they first started, including Funeral For A Friend, Million Dead, Biffy Clyro, yourcodenameis:milo and others. This is At the Drive-in; I hope you enjoy the show

Adam Turner-Heffer



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user ratings (3420)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Astroboy
March 30th 2005


2 Comments


This is my favorite album. At the Drive-in is definitely a band you need to listen to for a period of time to get used to, especially with Cedric's voice. But once you get over it, you'll love it. When i first got my iPod i listened to each song on this album over 25 times each because i just couldn't stop listening it. Great review, too. Definitely a 5/5.

Justanothernimrod
March 31st 2005


478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah, cedric put me off one armed scissor when it first came out.

Sep
April 3rd 2005


297 Comments


I love this album to pieces, and I'm gonna get all their other albums as soon as possible.

When I first saw a live video of them playing "One Armed Scissor" live at Conan, I was turned off by them for a while. They played so sloppy and didn't really seem to enjoy playing.

Now I'm kind of addicted to their live videos, and I regret not having seen them live.

Oh well, there's still Sparta and The Mars Volta, two of my other favorite bands.

biografiend
April 21st 2005


55 Comments


Awesome review. I love this album.

Jawaharal
May 29th 2005


1832 Comments


cedric's vocals really annoyed me the first couple times but then they grew on me and I love it. great review and awesome album.

pixiesfanyo
June 1st 2005


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is a good album.

Not great, but good.

woofwoofwoof
June 22nd 2005


156 Comments


mars volta is better.
a lot is better.
but this is better than most.

afireinside336
June 27th 2005


6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

A great album by an awesome band. what else can be said?

Vamos Scorcho
June 27th 2005


12 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wow this cd is way ove

Neurotoxin
June 27th 2005


90 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album. Cosmonaut and Arcarsenal are my personal favourites.

Coup__D_Etat
July 17th 2005


65 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Reqally good album......Cosmonaut is probably the best song. I kinda like enfilade too, it's dancy...plus the UK version has Catacombs on it, and that is an awesome song.

4.5/5


Justanothernimrod
July 17th 2005


478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hey, Coup, you from the biffy forums?

Riley12988
July 21st 2005


109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Invalid Litter Dept." is sheer genius. This was my first ATDI album, what should I get next?

masada
July 21st 2005


2733 Comments


I fear for my safety, but I think that At the Drive-In is mildly overrated. Oh well.

Syncratic
July 30th 2005


756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Enfilade has a creepy intro, but still a great album.

Justanothernimrod
July 31st 2005


478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Enfilade is a creepy song all the way through, listen to the lyrics!

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
August 3rd 2005


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I downloaded some of the songs here, my favorites are Quarantined and Invalid Litter Dept.

Justanothernimrod
August 4th 2005


478 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the slower songs, in other words.

SlappedByTheClash
August 27th 2005


19 Comments


I need to hit up Cedric for some dance tips.


He's got some moves son.


Outstanding album too. deserves a place in any collection.

Arrakakaka
September 10th 2005


685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great album. But it lacks here and there.



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