At the Drive-In – in•ter a•li•a
After 17 long years since their last release, legendary post-hardcore outfit At The Drive-In are back, after a self-confessed 'money grab' reunion tour a few years ago. Their last release, the excellent Relationship of Command, sounded like a band exploding with inventive ideas but also one falling apart personally.
So what a shame it is, then, to find in•ter a•li•a, a blatant attempt to re-connect to a feeling and a moment that simply isn't there anymore. There is nothing even remotely close to being as immediate as their seminal album here, nor really anything from their excellent oeuvre. in•ter a•li•a instead sounds vapid and empty, like it's blowing hot air around the room; the band sound like a parody of themselves.
While it's not all completely unlistenable (Tilting at the Univendor, for one, has some nice moments), in•ter a•li•a is for the most part constantly rushing towards its climax without catching a breath. The band seem keenly aware of what made ...Command successful and are doing anything to repeat it – Torrentially Cutshaw is just Cosmonaut again – but the band were in a completely different place then compared to where they are now.
At The Drive-In's magic came with them getting better with every record from 1996's Acrobatic Tenement onwards, rewarded with a "legendary" album (and mainstream exposure) in their demise. in•ter a•li•a feels like the 'difficult follow-up album' we never needed.
Listen to: Tilting at the Univendor, Pendulum in a Peasant Dress, Incurably Innocent
Buy At The Drive-In - in•ter a•li•a on LP/CD from Norman Records