If there was one highly anticipated album to be released in 2017, it had to be this one. Texas based legendary post-hardcore band At the Drive-In might have felt they needed to live up to the expectations set by music fans that were dying for new music. Having formed in 1994 and releasing three albums, after the grande epos Relationship of Command in 2000 the band broke up in 2001. In the meantime, the band members made music through separate music projects, including The Mars Volta. Having hinted at a reunion for several years, this year At the Drive-In finally released the long overdue follow-up to the 2000 classic Relationship of Command with In•ter a•li•a.
The album, released through Rise Records, gives fans with its 41 minutes and 11 songs long enough material to enjoy. Album opener No Wolf Like the Present presents a sound that is, to say the least, different. The rawness of previous albums is now more polished, with more melodics, clean vocals, and rhythmic patterns that actually seem to make sense. Is it bad? Definitely not. An old school fan might be unpleasantly surprised at first listen (if you’re old enough to have actively experienced the released of the first albums, which I unfortunately cannot say for myself), but as In•ter a•li•a progresses, the classic and loved sound of At the Drive-In returns. Songs like Tilting at the Univendor and Governed by Contagions are a proper flashback to the sound on Relationship of Command. The album meanders through both old typical sounds from previous ATD-I music and new vibes, that at times remind me of early letlive. or The Mars Volta, which is no surprise, since lead singer Cedric Bixler and guitarist-vocalist Omar Rodríguez both are founding members of this prog-rock band. The classic raw, screechy and at times dissonant sound of the band is mostly retained, but has been updated to still appeal to the musical audience of 2017. In 17 years and with many side projects, it is only natural for a band to evolve their sound into other directions, but this is still the At the Drive-In we know and love.
At the Drive-In are currently on tour and will make their appearance at major festivals in Europe during August.