At The Drive In - In•Ter A•Li•A album review

Art-punk heroes make a thrilling return

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The electric energy and distinctive, sticky songwriting on display in At The Drive In’s new album could give the impression that barely any time has passed since the release of their landmark LP, Relationship Of Command. In fact, in•ter a•li•a comes 17 long years after its predecessor and this is the band’s first studio album without band co-founder, Jim Ward. Never fear, ex-Sparta guitarist Keeley Davis fills the void capably and the new tracks sound familiar but fresh and exhilarating. Recorded at Hollywood’s Sound Factory, this album champions an old-school At The Drive In sound but with added confidence and clarity. Frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s voice is still on point, and the first two singles teased, Governed By Contagions and Hostage Stamps, are fair portrayals of the styles showcased across the rest of the album. Holtzclaw and Torrentially Cutshaw bring a pleasingly raw, rhythmic, and disjointed post-hardcore revival, while the melodic drive of Continuum and Call Broken Arrow bring to mind the catchy accessibility of At The Drive In’s earlier albums. Not ones to forget the style that accompanies the substance, Damon Locks’ cover art and lyric videos are striking and guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Rich Costey’s (Muse, Biffy Clyro, Frank Turner) production is spot on. The band’s progressive punk spirit and authenticity lives on and the result is passionate, ruggedly artistic, and undeniably catchy.