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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 18 August 2001
i have to say first of all that this album is superb, catchy (if not immediately) and with a very, very long life span. BUT my main point is that every budding guitarist out there (like myself) who feel they are stuck in a box or shape, listen to this record for inspiration. what sounds fairly tuneless to start with soon becomes addictive and greatly enjoyable. the lead guitarists small expressions often verge on bluesey in feel and then reduce to visceral squeals the next. you have to hear it to believe it. trust me :)
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on 25 July 2003
Amidst the sea of watered down nu-metal and post-grunge boredom come a truly inspirational band. 'Relationship of Command' is the album that introduced one of the greatest rock acts ever into the mainstream...
...and then they went and split. A terrible shame, though it was, they've left behind some fantastic music (and look to go on to make more with new bands such as Sparta and The Mars Volta).
'Relationship of Command' is often hailed as the band's best album, due partly to the brilliant production job from uber-producer Ross Robinson, but mainly because the band seem completely comfortable with what they're doing.
The album is quite avante garde and obscure in places, never afraid to break the boundaries, but the band's feel for melody and tunefulness also shines through. That said, the album actually has quite dark, heavy feel, unlike the previous releases, but still remains instantly accessible.
Part of the brilliance of the album is that it appeals on a number of levels. It has the accessibility and rock 'n' roll attitude for you to simply rock to, but listen closely and you notice the intricacy of the music, and the highly thought-provoking lyrics.
To top it all off, the vocals of Cedric Bixler are amazing. He has a good singing voice, but it is his gravelly shout that really stands out.
'Relationship of Command' is everything a rock album should be - intellignet, inspirational, unafraid to experiment and, above all, hugely enjoyable.
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on 21 November 2002
One of the great tragedies of this millenium so far, is that At the Drive in did not recieve more mainstream attention.
The band disbanded right before their big chance at pop recognition. At the Drive in, like Nirvana before them, could of exposed the world at large, to an antidote to the virus of corporate rock. But sadly, they didnt, oh well, thats the mainstreams loss, but the cult of At the Drive in's immeasurable gain.
This album is a plethora of genres,the ferocity of punk, the groove of dub reggae, the subtle atmospherics of trip hop and the
emotion of ...well..emo, stirred in a potuntil it forms something new and wonderful.The albums standout track, invalid litter department, is a glorius epic six minutes of eccentric lyrics, subtle aggression and some of the finest piano playing in the history of rock.
Relationship of command does not feature one filler track, every song, is brimming with emotion and has its own distinct identity.
The album is not flawless, at times Cedric Bixlers voice can be irritating, but that is only a minor glitch in an album, that deserves to be revered as a classic.
Its sad to think since At the Drive in called it a day, we've seen the rise of Puddle of mud and Nickelback, truly that is a shame
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on 31 October 2000
American rock's saviours have landed at last. Docking in aboard their 'Relationship Of Command' LP, At The Drive-In promote the usage of lascerating guitars which cut through the mist of nu-metal like an angry swarm of speed-guzzling wasps. Cedric's lyrics are frantic, Ginsberg-informed cut-ups riding high upon the pulsating waves of rhythmic lava laid down by his comrades. When HRH The Prince Of Punk-Rock himself (Iggy Pop) pops in to holler a derranged mantra ('manuscript replica!') over the Fugazi-glide of 'Rolodex Propoganda' you can almost feel the hands of God reaching down and grabbing you sternly by the collar before 'Quarantined''s bark-and-response madness redresses the balance of energy with no loss of visceral power. The single 'One Armed Scissor' is another sparkling moment from an album positively packed to the rafters with the cunning buggers.
At The Drive-In deal their cards of authenticity and old-skool rock 'n' roll thrills with such verve, wit and imagination that it's often hard to believe that their presence isn't some sort of cruel chimeric hologram provoked by the never-ending onslaught of Blink 182-type dumbo-punk. But believe me: ATDI are all too real and they are here to steal your mortal soul. Don't even try and claim that you haven't been warned. This time the revolution will be driven-in.
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on 10 May 2012
For those of you in the know, you will already have bought this a long time before now, and your life will be all the better for owning it.
This is one of those bands, I feel, you either get or you don't. Fortunately for me, I did/do get it. I already owned this album and bought this copy for my brother-in-law as part of a long dedicated bid to re-educate him musically! It's worked, he loves this album, although he found it a labour of love in the beginning, he stuck with it and now "gets it" too.
I am nowhere near as eloquent at describing the interstacies of the music, the style, the lyrics as those who have previously rated this and other albums, so I bow to their descriptive musical genius and beg you to read their reviews as they are so much better than mine - you may even get a track by track breakdown. A truly inspired piece of poetry put to some devilishly good tunes.
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on 2 January 2001
It's got to be said that this album is fantastic Even two months after buying Relationship of Command it still gets listened to every day. Intense, riotous, revolutionary, violent. The opening track 'Arcarsenal' sets the tone for the whole album with much shouting, screaming and high-end riffing. Then 'Pattern Against User' and 'One Armed Scissor' kick in and provide the two best points on the album. 'Invalid Litter Department' (still no idea about this title) is slower but still brilliant. With the hook 'Fell into the wishing well/wishing well/wishing well' showing such intensity, that this band are for real. 'Rolodex Propoganda' features the granddad of punk ,Iggy Pop, and is (predictably) insane, with a truly dodgy chorus. 'Cosmonaut' is just a phenomenal punk song. 'Non-Zero Possibility' is a beautiful, piano driven slow number. A special mention must be given to the lyrics - a brilliant cut and paste technique leads to some completely incomprehensible lyrics. Fantastic. Definitely the best album of the last five years, and to be honest only Manic Street Preachers 'The Holy Bible' and Nirvana's 'Nevermind' are better albums in the last decade. Roll on the American Rock Revolution!
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on 22 January 2001
What can I say? They recently gobsmacked everyone on Later with Jools Holland with their downright stonkingly violent performance. Rock is returning! The album takes a while to get into but it won't leave your stereo. I suggest you just glue it in. The highlights have to be Mannequin Republic, One Armed Scissor and the sublime Arcarsenal. Incredibly catchy riffs, supreme vocals and pulsating energy. Simply exhilirating.
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on 2 September 2002
This album is a masterpiece. At the drive-in are better than Nirvana. But it seems no-one's allowed to say that anymore. Anyway, this record has a "no frills" honesty about it. There's genuine passion throughout the album, backed by mind-boggling lyrics with may not be completly clear, but allow you to make valid interpretations of your own. And there are snippets of greatness peppered along the way. The tempo is fast, and this suits the vocal stylings of Cedric Bixler, who may not technically be the finest singer, but has a dramatic voice that no-one could utilise any better. The music is complex and accessible at the same time, and I can't imagine how they pieced the instruments together to make one great song after another. Some may say there isn't much variation here, but this album just shows where the band was at the time. If you want variation - refer to their previous albums/EPs which don't parallel the intensity of this album. If you like The Icarus Line/Refused/Your Enemies Friends - buy this album. This band may have gone on 'hiatus', but at least we have this timeless classic from their relics.
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on 29 June 2001
This is an absolutely amazing cd. I wish i could describe the kind of energy that this band exudes, but words just cant do it. there are three things that seperate at the drive-in from today's nu-metal bands like limp bizkit, linkin park, papa roach, etc. 1.sincerity 2.intelligence 3.true talent the music itself on this album is hard, fast, yet there's true beauty in it. from the tribal drums of arc arsenal to the piano of non-zero possibility, this stuff will leave a deep impression on you. My favorite aspect of this album though is the part that seems to be gathering the most criticism...they lyrics. The lyrics are brilliant metaphorical poems. Anyone who claims that none of the songs have any meaning just doesnt understand the metaphors, it's as simple as that. for example..."phonetic paralysis inflicted through morality" is obviously about censorship and "this syringe will take a lifespan, it's filled with bait and tackle, try and catch us if you can" is a damn cool way to refer to drug addiction. Anyways...this is a great album. the music is by no means soothing though. sometimes it's downright spine tingling, but give it a listen and if you like what you hear..buy it..you wont regret it
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on 1 June 2008
Neither The Mars Volta or Sparta will ever compare to At The Drive-In and no other ATD-I album is as good as this, they're all excellent but this is the best. Personally i think it's one of the greatest albums of all time.

That said, I can understand why you might not like this, his lyrics are highly metaphorical, Cedric doesn't have a great singing voice (although I love his voice) and he tends to shout alot and the music can be completely crazy at times.
If you don't like this sort of music, or haven't ever heard anything by ATD-I i wouldn't advise buying this album as you may be in for a suprise if this isn't your thing.
If you do like this style of music this album is an essential.

Although the whole album is perfect, My favourites are: One Armed Scissor, Pattern Against User, Cosmonaut, Arcarsenal, Manequin Republic, Enfilade and Non-Zero Possibilty
I have listed over half the album, but that's becuase it's so hard to choose!

I always think it's a shame I'll never get to see any of this stuff played live =[
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