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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 3 December 2002
It's a close call between this and Relationship of Command as to which is the best ATD-I album. Personally, the more traditional rock feel of this gives it the edge over the electronic sample fest of Relationship of Command. Arguably the best track here is the dark, haunting Napoleon Solo, despite it being possibly the least ATD-I style track on the album. More traditional fast and heavy tracks such as Chanbara and Transatlantic Foe are amongst the best the band have ever produced. However, it's the album as a whole which excels here, rather than individual tracks. Unlike many bands, where some tracks seem so similar that they almost result in an album sounding like one big, long song (sorry to name names, but The Offspring's Conspiracy Of One is the worst offender I've heard), this album has excellent variation in the style, mood and pace of the songs. Possibly the only flaw is that it doesn't go on for another 10 minutes (something Sparta rectified with their debut Wiretap Scars), as, at 38 minutes, it's a little on the short side, and unlike Idlewild's new album (same length as this), you don't feel totally fulfilled at the end of it.
Still, it's a great album, ATD-I's best, and anyone who reckons they love "true" rock music (not nu-metal trash) should have this on regular rotation on their stereo.
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on 21 March 2003
I'm presuming that if you have come to read this, you already know something about the crazy ride that ATD-i are so this review will make comparisons with ROfC in some places seeing as everyone always wants to know if this album is good.
Personally, I prefer this record to ROfC, I think it has better melodies and is much more moving and subtle, rather than the exciting adrenalin rush of ROfC.
A lot of people prefer ROfC, although I think a lot of this is due to its superior production, and that people fail to see through this relatively lo-fi recording and hear the songs themselves.
Although this album lacks electronic madness of ROfC, it contains more crazy guitar parts and little things that make you go "ooh" while at the same time having more of a traditional rock edge to it. The song structures are easier to follow and in some places thing are almost, dare I say, predictable.
napoleon solo and lopsided are tow of my favourite songs ever, the way napoleon solo builds up, and has a really sudden quiet loud dynamic, is sheer genius. The slower pace and beautiful guitar parts that switch for big, harsh walls of noise make this song genius distilled. Did I forget to say the lyrics are top as well?
Lopsided is also brilliant, that simple riff and heartfelt chorus with its masterful pause are what brings this to another level. "does it all make sense now?" has to be one of my favorite vocal melodies ever!
Buy this album and see what it's like to emo without being whiney, this is some of the most genuinely moving music I have ever heard.
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on 18 November 2000
In this album, At The Drive-In tried to capture their live sound in the studio. They did this by not tracking any of the songs (i.e. they all played as a band, instead of recording each instrument separately). This results in a slightly rough-sounding, energy packed album.
And my God, what an album it is. Almost at true classic status, and most certainly the best ATDI have ever done (even better than this years release, 'Relationship of Command'). If you consider yourself a fan of ATDI's music, then you should already have this. If not, buy it now.
I wish I could give it more than five stars.
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on 10 March 2003
This is probably ATD-I's most full-on rock album. This album might not have the creativity edge which occurs in Relationship Of Command but has the style and charisma which most rock bands are missing. This track starts off with intense, mind-blowing 'Alpha Centauri' which boasts some of the weirdest lyrics imaginable. Then 'Chanbara' kicks in with a hypnotising opening riff and high-pitched screaming along the way. 'Hoolahoop Wounds' contains some of the most interesting riffs in the album rolled into one song and a nice sing-a-long chorus. 'Napoleon Solo', considered one of ATD-I's most serious songs but doesn't lack in creativity with a cool intro riff. Pickpocket then picks up the pace again with another sing-a-long chorus and 'For now...we toast' tells of a prison break story. 'A Devil Amongst The Tailors' is one of my favourite tracks off the album because i love the style of the song and the everlasting feedback at the end. 'Shaking Hand Incision' varies a lot throughout the song by going loud then quiet and loud all the time. 'Lopsided' sounds like a single which has good use of clean guitar riffs. 'Hourglass' is the albums reflective moment with Jim Ward taking up lead vocals. Sparta fans will be proud of this song. And the album rounds nicely off with 'Transatlantic Foe'.
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on 25 July 2003
Despite best fitting the description of a post-hardcore band, At the Drive-in display a real rock 'n' roll attitude. The tracks are explosive, upbeat numbers, with brilliant shouted/sung vocal dynamics and it really does make you feel good listening to them.
For those who have heard the similarly excellent, 'Relationship of Command', 'In Casino Out' is a rawer, somewhat punkier album. Rather than the heavier sound of its successor, the band concentrates more on melody, with slightly simpler song structures. There a certain amount of dub evident giving it a slightly crazy sound in places, though.
The music is intelligent, the cryptic lyrics thought-provoking and the variety great. At the Drive-in are one of the greatest rock acts of all time. Enough Said.
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on 27 June 2003
The follow up to their breakthrough album 'Acrobatic Tenement' and the album that REALLY brought the world’s attention to At The Drive-In, that’s if you hadn’t already seen their extraordinary live show that none of their albums ever managed to recreate. Although to many it does not live up to ‘Relationship Of Command’ (Are you mad?), maybe in finesse, 'I/C/O' undeniably matches and possibly even surpasses 'ROC' in displaying the raw emotion and energy behind ATD-I. Personally, the most striking track on this album is “Hourglass” as out of all their attempts at a slower more sensational output this is their only real success! Granted “198d” and “Non-Zero Possibility” were amazing, but “198d” suffered as his voice was not as penetrating and “Non-Zero Possibility” was stronger but too violent for a soft track.
'I/C/O' is perfect for building up to 'ROC' and you could even play them amongst tracks from the two subsequent outputs and wouldn’t really notice. The only noticeable thing is that the sound is a lot more unrefined here and is still in the process of development; there is still some experimentation with strongly different beats, styles, and electronic sounds. Yet no matter how far back you go with ATD-I they always put out some of the best hardcore (punk/emo/rock whatever…) you will hear in pretty much most your lifetime (I expect). As with all their work favourites and any criticism is very personal and differs from one person to the next, but one thing that can be said is it appeals to a wide range so if you like any fast and heavy guitar styles then you will love this. My personal faves are “Chanbara”, “Napoleon Solo”, “A Devil Among The Tailors”, “Lopsided” and “Transatlantic Foe”. Simply a powerful, fierce and energetic combination of catchy rock riffs and inspiring vocals.
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on 17 March 2006
This is quite possibly my favourite album of all time. In Transatlantic Foe it certianly does contain my favourite track of all time, packed with energy and an infectious switch of tempo and melody. Lopsided and Napoleon Solo are other standout tracks that show a real development of maturity from Acrobatic Tenement and El Gran Orgo. While Hourglass is a clear emotional and melodic precursor of the likes of Invalid Litter Dept. Not as accessible as Relationship of Command but ultimately more satisfying. It's still as enjoyable and inspiring to listen to as it was the so many years ago that I bought it.
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on 12 September 2004
ULTIMATE tracks include napoleon solo the last track and more this album kicks but, but "relationship of command" is more accessable and sounds better. But this album is amazingly different from the rest of the rock out there, shame they have split up really, but the music lives on in The Mars Volta
same singer and ultimately different music. wooo
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on 27 February 2004
i don't know why i took so long to get hold of this, considering i have owned and worshipped 'relationship' since it's release and would definately place ROC in my top five favourite albums... this album had a lot to live up to to make the same impression on me.
as it turns out, i went through exactly the same process in getting to know it; on the first spin i wasn't immediately blown away and started to think i should have spent my hard scrounged money on something else. i didn't 'get' it stright away. i persevered though... suddenly on about the third play i fell in love. particularly track 9, 'lopsided' which makes me feel all funny inside in a way that only my very favourite music can.
i/c/o has the same depth of substance that keeps you coming back for more that made ROC a favourite.. the sound is rawer, and the songs slightly more straightforward but this is no bad thing. the songs sound great, are stunningly origional, the lyrics captivating. the musicianship and intricate rhythms leave no doubt that ATDI were a truly great band.
bad points; perhaps that the 'singing' parts of the vocals (eg. in between the 'shouting' and 'talking' parts) are ever so slightly suspect- eg. flat- in a couple of places, but somehow this adds to the personality and feel of the album for me. unlike ROC i don't feel that the unbelievable quality of the songs are maintained through every moment of every track- tracks 5 & 6 i don't always listen to (this perhaps could be excusable in a longer album, but as this is a consise recording thus 4 stars).
this is a very worthwhile perchase and although not instantly accessible, i am confident that anyone who 'gets' relationship of command should find a place in their collection for this absolute gem.
ATDI is truly the thinking (wo)man's rock out band of choice!
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on 16 February 2001
I couldn't find anything wrong with this album whatsoever... this song has a real punk feel to it with some serious feeling and skill put into it. Once you listen to it once you won't be able to stop for a long time... the best album I have listened to in ages and definitely the best works of At The Drive In so far. If you've yet to experience this awesome band for yourself, you can't really go wrong here. Prepare for a new experience - and you'll see what I mean when I say that 5 stars isn't enough for this :) GO AND BUY THIS *RIGHT NOW*!!!
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