Thread: Alfred's Audio
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 5,072

(#1 on the Alfred Top 25)

At The Drive-In "Relationship Of Command*"

Year: 2000
Genre: Punk
Length: 53:41
*Fearless Records re-release

The Mars Volta are a stunning musical group, and sometimes (most often during the cacophonous ending of "Goliath") I sit back and dream of how awesome it would be if they made a hardcore album. And then I slap myself and remember that they already did that... sort of. What every Mars Volta fan knows is that before our afro-bearing friends Cedric and Omar formed The Mars Volta, they played in the post-hardcore group At The Drive-In, and in 2000, they made the finest album of their careers. Relationship Of Command.

Relationship Of Command embodies every aspect of At The Drive-In's career in one solid, professional, cohesive record. Where their early releases lacked the heaviness and emotion that the band needed to achieve greatness, and In/Casino/Out was missing much of the band's hardcore roots, At The Drive-In perfected their imperfections with this one final album. From its aggressive opening track Arcarsenal to the emotionally-driven, In/Casino/Out-esque Invalid Litter Dept. to its blistering finale Catacombs, Relationship Of Command is a gripping, artistic, thirteen-track long epic. Boasting metaphoric lyrics, unconventional guitar, yet still keeping its punk rock attitude, you won't hear anything else like it.

Some of the best songs on the album are... well... all of them. Every song is noteworthy and great in its own respect. All of them seem to capture imagery through the lyrics as well as the instrumentation. For example, Quarantined paints a picture of a dark, war-torn futuristic city through its depressing, possibly political lyrics, Cedric's emotional vocal performance, and the thick, gloomy instrumentation. Arcarsenal reminds me of a man running through a jungle with its urgent, almost tribal-sounding drumming, rapid pace, and Cedric's near-screaming.

Relationship Of Command was an important album for me. It was one of the first albums which I listened to the entire way through and one of the first albums I fell in love with. It was an important album that directed me away from the pop-rock and scene kid music that I was ignorantly playing all day long. I still love it to this day, and it is probably still my favorite album of all time.

It should be your favorite album too.


Last edited by Alfred; 10-21-2009 at 10:49 AM.
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