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At The Drive-In : Inter Alia

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At The Drive-In has achieved something special with their fourth album. It’s been a 17 year hiatus since their last record, the paradigm shifting Relationship of Command, but ATDI have maintained the momentum on this ten-track album framing their deeply idiosyncratic music in a subtly contemporary context. Just ten seconds in, the music of lead single Incurably Innocent changes timing and locks into the shuddering swagger that made them the most innovative rock band back in 2000.
 
This album is not Relationship Of Command part two. The aforementioned single seems to draw more stylistically from 1997’s post-punk El Gran Orgo EP. However, opener No Wolf Like The Present makes sure the listener knows that this album isn’t going to hold back.
 
The only remaining members, vocalist Cedric Bixler and guitarist Omar Rodriguez, have lost none of the unhinged stylings that have made them peerless.
 
While one may wish to disregard the pros about the triumph of Inter Alia; it is important to note that in 2015 another band of similar style and cultural magnitude, Refused, released a new album after 17 years, Freedom, and it wasn’t great. It sounded like a fossil that punk rock had left behind. Send transmission to the one-armed scissor:  this album is great.
 
By Dan Watt