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4.8 out of 5 stars92
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 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 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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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 12 May 2001
This is the future. Forget the pre-packaged angst of Limp Bizkit and say hello to At The Drive-In. It only took one hearing of "Rolodex Propaganda" on the radio to realise that this band is something special. This is one of the most original and thrilling records of the last decade. Combining the punk edge of Nirvana, the complex structure of Fugazi and the kind of shouty vocals that made Rage Against The Machine so great, this is punk for the thinking man. Its hard to pick the highlights as every song is fantastic, but here are my personal faves: *Arcarsenal-fast paced slice of punk rock genius. *One Armed Scissor-catchy as hell hardcore punk. *Invalid Litter Dept.-mellow(ish) rock with a brilliant singalong chorus. *Rolodex Propaganda-rage against the machine style metal with guest vocals by iggy pop.
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I am but a child to this world. In my life I have listened to the likes of The Offspring, Blink 182 and Green Day. Then I heard "Rolodex Propaganda". On the basis of this song I bought this album. Relationship of Command will blow you away. Tracks such as "Enfilade", "Cosmonaut" and "Catacombs" by themselves make this album worthwhile. I have heard this band are only good live but by the sound of this album that is wrong. This is not just full of loud guitars and screaching lyrics though,more gentle songs like "Non-zero possibility" add softer sounds to this album. The lyrics in most of these songs may not mean anything but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the songs as the loud and screaching guitars will blow you away. This is a must have album!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on 4 August 2005
I have mixed feelings about the 'relationship of command' album, despite bieng one of my favorite albums i own, Ultimately it (and its popularity and acclaim, especially 'one armed scissor') led to the break up of one of the best and most original bands of the last decade (the band became too popular for thier own liking). You must not hold that against it though, the album kicks off at top speed with the frantic 'arcarsenal', from there it keeps getting better highlights include of course 'one armed scissor', the brilliant but haunting 'invalid litter dept.' (a song about the huge amout of murders which occur to the young female mexican workers of el paso's cheap labour factorys). The tempo rises for 'mannequin republic' before the brilliant 'enfilade' (and its intro), a story of a kidnap and ransom. ATDI's lyrics can often be over looked but i urge anyone one who listens to this album to pay attention cause they have never been better. The catchy quite melodic (in ATDI's own special way) 'rolodex propaganda' follows, which in my view is one of the highlights of the record. The last three tracks of the album are arguably the best. 'Cosmonaut' with its thumping bass lines and great chrous ('is it heavier than air , tell us is the black box lying?),the pace slows down for the piano backed 'non - zero possibility' with its sing along chrous, despite bieng one of the darkest songs on the album ('i'm just tired of counting bodies'). The album closes with the most punk rock riff on the album (maybe with the exception of one armed scissor), the loud and fast 'catacombs' with its dramatic chrous and break-neck verses. I would highly recommend this album, which gets better with every listen, it is not as straight foward or accessible as 'in-casino-out' but give it a few listens and the 'relationship of command' will become one of, if not your favorite albums. If you are new to ATDI i would recommend thier recent anthology ('This station is non - operational') as it is like a slice through thier career and therefore the perfect way to be introduced to the legend that is At Ther Drive In.
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