At The Drive-In, Relationship Of Command

Yancey Strickler

By Yancey Strickler

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Cedric and Omar at their finest

Before splintering into the Mars Volta and Sparta, At the Drive-In recorded their final album, The Relationship of Command, a fiery finish to an eight-year career that elevated frontmen Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López to near demigod status in the post-hardcore world, their big hair and lanky bodies the flailing mascots of the band's deservedly heralded live shows. "One Armed Scissor" paced Command, earning modern-rock radio airplay with its shouts of, "Get away! Get away!," but it's "Invalid Litter Dept.," an epic indictment of globalism and imperialism ("dancing on the corpse's ashes"), that makes this album great and, from start to finish, their best (their Vaya EP is a close second). These are the guys that took the more traditional emo sound mainstream (My Chemical Romance owe them infinity beers), and with the Mars Volta, Cedric and Omar went on to destroy it. It's a helluva last gasp.