Resuming transmission after 20 years 'off' (they were of course playing in myriad bands such as the Mars Volta) are turn of the century intense noise thrashers At The Drive In. After returning for live shows in 2012 the band of self produced this much anticipated album which promises their classic sound thrust forward into previously unchartered waters.
Vinyl LP £20.39 4050538274158
Bone/black with bone splatter coloured vinyl LP on Rise Records.
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Vinyl LP £19.49 4050538274158
Black vinyl LP on Rise Records.
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CD £9.49 4050538274103
CD on Rise Records.
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7/10 Tom 25th May 2018
Anyone who is expecting in•ter a•li•a to be an instant classic like Relationship of Command is only setting themselves up to be disappointed. That being said, this comeback album from At the Drive In sounds like it was closely modelled on everything that made RoC work and so in that regard it’s a perfectly functional return to what they did so well back in 2000.
It’s worth noting however that Relationship of Command was the result of an almost superhuman transformation from the band that just three years prior released a scrappy debut album, the result of three years of personnel changes, hard touring and working with a super producer (Ross Robinson). In the years since At the Drive In broke up all the band members have gone onto to do other things. On the one hand, and most notably, there’s the Omar and Cedric-fronted progressive rock band the Mars Volta whose debut album Deloused in the Comatorium is probably the closest thing to the next step in At the Drive In’s evolution. On the other hand there’s the Jim Ward-fronted Sparta, a decent band that stuck closely to the At the Drive In post-hardcore sound.
The point I’m getting to is that in•ter a•li•a is the Sparta of At the Drive In albums – the sound of a great band either going backwards or at the very least staying put. As a fan it was exactly the album that I hoped for, but now that I have it I can’t help but feel slightly ambivalent about it. There’s a kind of uncanny valley thing going on whereby it looks and sounds like At the Drive In but there’s something just slightly off. The jerky rhythms, Omar's exploratory lead guitar parts, and Cedric's omnipresent squall are all completely on point but just don't connect the way they used to do.
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