Analog Adventures: Relationship of Command

At the Drive-In

Relationship of Command

(Original release 2000, reprint 2013)

At the Drive-In came together in 1994 in El Paso Texas. Their work ethic, incredible live shows, along with energetic music make them a genre favorite. The first incarnation of the band burned brightly, and broke up in 2001. Half of the members formed the hardcore outfit Sparta and the other half the Mars Volta. Before breaking up in 2001, the band put out three albums. The final album is their finest hour; Relationship of Command.

Relationship of Command is everything good about At the Drive-In. Chaotic guitars, grounding bass, hammering drums, and barking vocals. The hardcore roots of Bad Brains and Black Flag are obvious, but the progressive rock undertones creep up on the listener. One Armed Scissor is the band’s biggest hit, and this has subtle time changes. Guitar effects such as fuzz are applied to the bass in some songs. This sets the band apart from their hardcore contemporaries.

The Record Itself

This edition of Relationship of Command saw a release on Record Store Day 2013. Limited to only 4,000 prints, this is a collectors item. The pressing is on a gorgeous transparent orange swirl, and half of the fun is watching the record spin. The jacket has a satisfying matte finish that feels smooth to the touch. The Trojan horse imagery on the front and back of the album are a great representation of the band; you expect hardcore music but they sneak in progressive rock influence.

The back cover and the orange vinyl

Is It Worth it?

You can buy this record for about $50 on Discogs. I found my copy at an Exchange store, where I paid $45. This reissue is of the highest quality and a worthy addition to any collection. This is an excellent entry point into the world of post-hardcore music.

Outstanding Tracks

  • One Armed Scissor
  • Enfilade
  • Catacombs

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Jose Diaz

Collector of analog media.

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