Search - At the Drive-In :: Relationship of Command

Relationship of Command
At the Drive-In
Relationship of Command
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

From 1994-2000, At The Drive-In held the attention of music fans and critics alike. During their career, they released three albums and numerous EPs. You can hear their influence today on so many releases across the rock g...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: At the Drive-In
Title: Relationship of Command
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Fearless Records
Release Date: 11/9/2004
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Indie & Lo-Fi, American Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Relationship of Command
UPCs: 714753007024, 5033197302928


Album Description
From 1994-2000, At The Drive-In held the attention of music fans and critics alike. During their career, they released three albums and numerous EPs. You can hear their influence today on so many releases across the rock genre. Members have gone on to form The Mars Volta, Sparta, and various other projects. "Displaying an earnest intensity befitting pre-irony U2, At The Drive-In are an exhilarating and exhausting experience--the sight of five young men ever pushing against and beyond the limits of physical and emotional endurance with crusader zeal"--Rolling Stone. Seemingly influenced in equal parts by hardcore punk, heavy rock, and modern industrial rap-metal, At the Drive-In provides music tailor-made for head-banging. Unlike such acts as Korn and Limp Bizkit, At the Drive-In isn't afraid to throw in the occasional semi-catchy melody, giving the uninitiated something on which to hang their hat. Other than that, however, there's little in the way of commercial concessions on RELATIONSHIP OF COMMAND. Rampaging guitar riffs, turbo-charged drumming, and super-emotive, lung-challenging vocals are the order of the day. The lyrics are often a bit elliptical, so its sometimes hard to tell exactly what the boys are going on about, but that can work to their advantage too, allowing the listeners to fill in the blanks. Slightly more refined than some of their contemporaries, but undeniably hard-hitting, At the Drive-In stands proudly at the center of circa-2000 heavy rock, and RELATIONSHIP OF COMMAND is their battle cry. In early 2005, look for the "Anthology" CD of greatest hits, exclusive unreleased tracks, rarities, covers, videos, interviews, and exclusive live footage.

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CD Reviews

Maybe We'll All Catch up to This Some Day
Zachary A. Hanson | Tallahassee, FL United States | 06/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Omar and Cedric must have figured out some black magic before they recorded this one with the boys. From the opening distorted and processed squalls materializing from Omar's guitar on "Arc Arsenal," every time a listener rides ATDI's wave on this one it is a mysteriously thrilling experience. One can only say this about a release or two every year. I mean, really, I got this when it came out six years ago (the hyperkinetic video to "One-Armed Scissor" prompted me [see it on _This Station Is Non-Operational_]) and I've never looked back. While I no longer play it three times a day like I did then (never been bored listening after literally hundreds of listenings), I think it's something more like once a month that I listen to it these days. And it's right back into the headbanging, the chills, singing/screaming along with lyrics that still don't make perfect sense to me ("intravenously polite/ it was the walkie-talkies that knocked the pins down/ as her shoes gripped the dirt floor/ in the silhouette of dying"--"Invalid Litter Dept."), but will nonetheless grow with me for the rest of my life, like Joyce's _Finnegans Wake_ or poems by Celan.

Really, this is as good as anything Mars Volta has done (MV is my favorite operating band followed closely by Radiohead and Wilco--hallowed company!). _Relationship of Command_ is really the leaping board to the heights unknown they have reached with MV. It is also the culmination of the considerable accomplishments of ATDI, while representing a quantum leap from their nonetheless excellent preceding LP, _In/Casino Out_. What makes it a diving board to MV is the fact that we hear more of the stratospheric guitar from Omar than we had heard on previous ATDI releases and the song-writing and lyrics are leaning more towards byzantine prog tendencies. What makes it still ATDI and the culmination of everything they did is that it is still just punk, except it is refined by Andy Wallace's huge production skills and the band's (especially Omar's and Cedric's) relentlessly visionary drive. To put it in a nutshell, this rocks you on every level: emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, and mostly your BODY: Cedric and Omar didn't thrash around on-stage like possessed dervishes for the show of it (it's that black magic)!

This is to say that _Relationship of Command_ is the best "punk" CD of this decade and I would be stunned (and delighted) to see anyone come to this level by the end of 2009. Really, as far as pure punk CDs go, I can really only think of Patti Smith, the Clash, and a few other stalwarts who created a product this uniformly mind-shattering. If ATDI had stayed together, they may have been able to top this, but, then again, CDs this brilliant only seem to emanate from the kinds of rough straits that the ATDI members were in at this time, and the impending break-up energy must have had everything to do with the manic surge that crackles from every second of the 45 minutes of this CD. Instead, ATDI broke up and Cedric and Omar chose to infuse their punk roots with prog and in turn came up with something different altogether (prunk?).

Everyone who has any sort of sincere love for extreme music of any sort has to own this one. And if you're not a lover of extreme music? ATDI may just expand your mind with their William Burroughs-style lyrical approach and unceasingly energetic performance/compositional approach. Put this one in a time capsule with a few other CDs to help define what both "punk" and "rock" meant in the first thirty odd years of its existence."
A Nuclear Explosion, Tidal Wave, and Earthquake All At Once
dredpirateroberts | Lemon Grove, CA | 03/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the 2004 Fearless Records re-issue which contains the bonus tracks "Extracurricular" and "Catacombs". Originally released in 2000 on the now defunct Grand Royal Records, this is the final album released by this amazing band. In my opinion this is a great album made even better with the addition of the previously mentioned bonus tracks. As sad as it is to see one of the most inovative punk bands of all time call it quits, at least they did it at their pinnacle. This album has all the power, energy, and emotion you've come to expect from ATDI, with the added bonus of better recording quality, making all the little quirks and layers more audible and the over all sound is richer than ever. Ever changing and always progressive, this album takes it all to the next level and beyond. A must have for anyone who is a fan of loud, kinetic, dynamic, powerful, and beautiful music. This is arguably their best album, but also their most commercially successful and their only major label release. I own (as in purchased the actual albums not downloaded replicas) over 500 CD's and records and my collection would be empty without ALL the At the Drive-In albums. Buy this Album.

**After their break up in 2001 members split to form the bands Sparta (ATDI:rhythm guitarist, basist, and drummer) and the Mars Volta (ATDI: vocalist and lead guitarist). These bands are worth a listen as well."
Perfect songwriting and alien madness
The Wickerman | Austin, TX | 12/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Before Cedric and Omar were pushing the boundaries of music nearly to the extremes in the Mars Volta, they were blowing minds in At the Drive-in. To categorize their music is nearly impossible. They've most commonly been labeled as "punk", but that's hardly even scratching the surface. Truth be told, this is a sound that was nearly unique unto itself. The closest comparsion one could perhaps make is Fugazi, but even that is misleading. Either way, you're probably not going to be prepared for this on the first listen.

Now, since the Mars Volta have gotten fairly popular these days, especially among fans of progressive rock, I suppose it'd be fair to make the comparison. While TMV fit somewhat into the prog category, with their huge epic compositions and technically audacious musicianship, I would not quite put ATDI into this same category, at least not quite as squarely. While the music here is highly sophisticated, experimental, and unpredictable, it doesn't really achieve what most would call a "prog" aesthetic. The songs generally aren't that long, and the musicianship is much more closely rooted to the song itself. However, it's not to say that this is necessarily more straight-forward. If you love the explosive oddness of TMV, then you'll most assuredly love this as well.

Describing the songs is basically useless. From one second to the next, this album takes you on a thrilling journey of pure alien madness. From the raw psychosis of "Arcarsenal" to the spacious atmospheres of "Invalid Litter Dept.", this is definitely an album of extremes. But, even in its softer and more tranquil moments, it never gets particularly "normal". Songs like "One Armed Scissor", "Pattern Against User", and "Rolodex Propaganda" are surprisingly catchy, but are still far from being tailor-made radio hits. The album ends appropriately enough with the powerful rocker "Catacombs", which finally culminates with a finale of electronic beeping. At the end, you get the same sensation of having your brain removed, rearranged, and shoved back into place as you do with the Mars Volta, but much more focused and compact.

The point is, you need this album. Anyone who enjoys original, bizarre, daring music simply can't be without this. And, if you like TMV, but perhaps think they're a bit too excessive musically, you'll really love this. But either way, this is essential."