Relationship of Command review

At the Drive In's new album is one of rock's most defining albums

WRITTEN BY: Allyce Andrew
Mars Volta
Image Source: Nick Helderman, via Flickr
Mars Volta

In the days of generic pop-punk bands around every corner, stumbling across an album like "Relationship of Command" by "At the Drive-In" can be a bit of a religious experience.

The album exudes energy, from Cedric Bixler’s screaming vocals on the very first track "Arcarsenal" to the distorted breakdown of "Quarantined". Finding an album as raw as this is unfortunately, a very difficult thing to do. All of tracks on "Relationship of Command" deserve attention but ‘"One Armed Scissor" is the most striking – reaching the number one position on AP’s Haircut 100 and featured on late-night performances with Conan O’Brien and David Letterman.

"Relationship of Command" was released in 2000 from the Beastie Boys Grand Royal Record label and has sold nearly one million copies. It also marks the band's last full release of original material. Various tumultuous experiences have led the members to take an indefinite hiatus in 2001 and follow their own musical paths:  Bixler and guitarist Omar Rodriguez began The Mars Volta, and guitarist Jim Ward, bassist Paul Hinojos and drummer Tony Hajjar formed Sparta.

"At the Drive-In" originally formed during the summer of 1994 in El Paso, Texas, and as a band stayed true to this album's chaotic energy. From their entrancing live shows to their two other full length albums, the band left a legacy strong enough to sustain their followers for now.

It seems unlikely that "At the Drive-In" will ever unite again to save our mainstream rock world, but I have my fingers crossed.

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