Album: At The Drive In - 'in•ter a•li•a'
This station is now operational
Laying on a mattress on the floor of a graffiti stained walled bedroom with teenage angst and a terrible hair cut is when I first fell in love with ATDI.
A friend had suggested them to me and as soon as I heard the keys at the start of 'Invalid Litter Dept' I knew I was in for something good.
I soon absorbed everything they had to offer and I was left wanting more, but by this point the band were 4 years into a hiatus and no matter how much I wished, it didn't look like they would be getting back together anytime soon.
Thank f*** for old pal's sharing highly important news on, insert popular social media website, and giving the hope only a 14 year old kid could ask for – the reunion of ATDI. Now, although there were no signs of any new music I knew at least there was a chance.
After a few festival appearances nothing more seemed to come up... Until 2016 that is when they announced a world tour and hinted at some new material. I'll be the first to admit, I was skeptical, concerned they could follow the path of bands such as Refused and The Get Up Kids, leaving me a little wounded by their efforts.
Well - Merry Christmas to me! ATDI released their first single in 16 years in December of last year, 'Governed By Contagions'. I was pleasantly surprised you could tell they had matured since their juggernaut of an album 'Relationship of Command' but it didn't feel like they had skipped a beat. This didn't feel like a “new” transformation like a shitty hair cut after a bad break up.
They later released an additional 2 songs from 'In-ter a-li-a', 'Incurably Innocent' and 'Hostage Stamps' which left me reassured that what was going to come wasn't going to disappoint.
The album opens with 'No Wolf Like The Present' tearing open with dueling guitars and then kicks in with the fast paced vocals that we have come to know, love and expect from Cedric Bixler-Zavala. This track is by far my favorite from the album, you can feel the energy emanating from every single member of the band from the comfort of your computer, until the opportunity for a live performances arrives.
The album continues on in this manner with high octane vibes yet being said, I kind of hoped for some slower moments similar to 'Quarantined' and 'Invalid Litter Dept' from ROC.
You can hear the sound changed up a little on 'Call Broken Arrow' and 'Ghost Tape No.9' leading more towards the vocal tones of The Mars Volta and without connection.
After a first listen I overall enjoyed the album, having said that it is not without it's flaws. I know I will find myself revisiting the album over and over again, from either the grip this band has on me or the urge to experience this band live once again.
A not so guilty pleasure that will win me over.
It's difficult to review this album without taking into consideration everything that has come before, whilst nothing feels like it hits as hard as the ROC days, that's not to say it doesn't pack a punch.
It almost feels like this album should have been released somewhere between their 1999 'Vaya EP' and 'Relationship Of Command' album and I can only imagine what it could have been if Jim Ward had stayed in the band to grace us with his sharp vocals and soft key work but this is for sure, this station is now operational.
Review by Dann Peters