’68 with Grenadiers, Pagan + Crusch Northcote Social Club, Melbourne 21 July, 2017 It just …
This doesn’t sound like At The Drive-In, at least on first listen. But that’s what makes it so At The Drive-In. Let me explain. Fans of the band have had their past stuff on repeat for the past 17 years without a break. Our brains are used to Relationship of Command, synapses are encoded with Acrobatic Tenement. So in a way, At The Drive-In is battling our memory. It defends itself like a Swiss Guard under siege as in•ter a•li•a battles for a nurturing place in our minds. On Continuum, Cedric rabble-rouses like he’s reviving MC5. Omar’s tumbling, complicated riffs rain down around him. They’re unconsciously reminding us that we’re listening to a brand new At The Drive-In. I mean, these guys aren’t teenagers any more, nor have they been for a very long time. Can we blame them? Or do we praise them?
They’re in the pit with you, unleashing their own brand of Youth Nitro.
Breakneck tracks like Governed by Contagions are timeless in construction and execution, lush with walls of riffs and leads built around moshable moments. It’s art-rock, but they’re not talking down to anyone. They’re in the pit with you, unleashing their own brand of Youth Nitro. Pendulum in a Peasant Dress deals with some heavy shit but doesn’t weigh anyone down. Knotted and atonal Call Broken Arrow will take your ears a million years to pick apart, and this will make you way too happy for trying. This is the beauty of At The Drive-In, and what makes all who’ve been influenced by them look like cheap imitators.
Int⋅er al⋅i⋅a is the most balanced rock ‘n’ roll album that’s come along in ages; there really is something for absolutely everyone on this LP, guaranteed. Bring on September!
STANDOUT TRACKS: Incurably Innocent, Pendulum in a Peasant Dress, Call Broken Arrow
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Fugazi, Glassjaw, The Mars Volta
int•er a•li•a is out today and available here.