Dork Radio
Now playing:
In the mag...
Featuring Muna, The Murder Capital, Shura, Ezra Furman, Spector and loads more.
Order a copy
September 2019

At The Drive In - in·ter a·li·a

A wild, blistering return.
Published: 3:50 pm, May 04, 2017
A wild, blistering return.

Label: Rise Records
Released: 5th May 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Like sodium hitting water, At the Drive In burned brightly, fiercely - emitting furious waves of scissor-kicking fever - and briefly, on hiatus since just after 2000’s taut, inventive ‘Relationship of Command’.

Forking into Sparta and The Mars Volta, each followed the melodic post-hardcore and spidery, progressive parts of AtDI’s sound along their own paths, with tireless guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López starting a series of experimental solo albums, set to hit 50 this year.

A reunion for Coachella and a few further shows came in 2012, but seemed underpowered, lacking that essential chemistry, and with no new material on the horizon. Now, the band are fully operational, and, calming any concerns following the recent departure of co-founder Jim Ward, 'In•ter a•li•a' is an earsplitting success.

Claws and hooks exposed, opener ‘No Wolf Like The Present’ thrusts itself in your face, snarling and spitting, at a pace which seldom slackens. With blind-siding tempo changes, flipping between thunderous motion and tense, churning grooves, ‘Continuum’ and ‘Tilting at the Univendor’ are almost as savage, even if it’s hard to pick out where all the fury is directed.

A cocktail of abstraction and ambiguity, the lyrics throughout 'In•ter a•li•a' take in old Hollywood (“Mannix the fixer to sage the ghosts”), false tooth-shaped cyanide capsules and whatever a “liquorice forgery” is. Arriving in December and February, singles ‘Governed By Contagions’ and ‘Incurably Innocent’ are among the strongest moments here. The first marries screeching discord and dubby bass with a chorus hook that should sit well with ‘Pattern Against User’ or the breakout ‘One Armed Scissor’, while the second - described by vocalist Cedric Bixler as being about abuse, and “being able to finally speak out” - is all furious momentum and blunt, painful imagery.

If more of the varying grains of ‘In/Casino/Out’ or ‘Relationship of Command’ might have been welcome - clean textures, or dubby breaks in the cloud - with only ‘Ghost-Tape No. 9’ adding a (still claustrophobic) sense of space, there’s little to fault here. At The Drive In sound as passionate as they did during their first, dazzling burst of activity; it’s a wild, blistering return. Rob Mesure

Give all this a try

The Murder Capital: More is less

The Murder Capital: More is less

The Murder Capital are a band that arrived with expectation. Before their first track dropped, word of mouth had already begun to spread about five men from Dublin kicking up a fuss.
Feelin' hypersonic: Sam Fender
Cover feature

Feelin' hypersonic: Sam Fender

Sam Fender is a man on a mission. Already beating current ‘biggest noise on the block’ Lewis Capaldi to a Brit Award, as his debut album nears its much-anticipated arrival, the sky really is the limit for an artist not short of stuff to say.
Friendly Fires: Can't wait forever

Friendly Fires: Can't wait forever

It’s over eight years since Friendly Fires released their last album, but - after a prolonged period away - they’re finally back on the dancefloor with the shimmering ‘Inflorescent’.
Like this? Subscribe to Dork and get every issue delivered direct to your door anywhere on the planet.

© 2018 The Bunker Publishing