At The Drive-In
There have been bands and musicians from decades ago that have a lasting influence on the music of today, but El Paso, Texas post-hardcore act At The Drive-In are in an interesting place when it comes to how they’ve effected the acts that came after them. They were ahead of their time musically with a mix of vintage progressive rock with modern punk and hardcore. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s abstract licks on guitar and Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s idiosyncratic lyrics helped create an artistic foundation that would become the duo’s trademark. Guitarist Jim Ward, drummer Tony Hajjar and bassist Paul Hinojos anchored the complex and energetic rhythms. They also came from the DIY underground where they spent the ‘90s cutting their teeth and gaining a cult following until their breakthrough full-length Relationship Of Command garnered the band widespread acclaim and a larger audience in 2000.
After a pseudo-reunion in 2012 and then reuniting again without Ward in 2015 (with former Sparta guitarist Keeley Davis taking his spot), At The Drive-In released their first album in 17 years with in • ter a • li • a on May 5, 2017 off of Rise Records. It’s a sonic shredder that’s intense and never lets up. There’s also a sense of influence from Rodriguez-Lopez’s and Bixler-Zavala’s other acts like The Mars Volta and Antemasque. Rich Costey on production duties created a clear, poignant and raw sound. The music itself is rhythmically tight and achieving structural perfection.
“No Wolf Like The Present” starts the album off with some eerie distortion into a righteous riff from Rodriguez-Lopez. It’s an emphatic call-to-arms that electrifies the senses and amps up whoever is listening. Examining sexual abuse is the track “Incurably Instrument. It’s an emotional track that examines a tough subject that’s difficult to open up about no matter who you are. A complete thrasher, “Holtzclaw” is another in your face anthem that sticks to the senses.
You should also grab a copy of their new album. It’s a scorcher of a record that shows no rust.