A horrible hack

At the Drive In

in/CASINO/OUT

Year Released: 1998
Format: LP
Label: Fearless
 
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Excellent. I love it when I get a new album, and it rocks, and it doesn't really sound like anyone else. This 12" slab of transluscent vinyl contains 11 songs of a style which can only be described as post-hardcore. Which helps no-one. Whilst it opens up with the seemingly straight-forward, shouty vocalled "Alpha Centauri", it gets a lot more interesting and exciting than that. And it's not like that track itself is a let down or anything.

Because At The Drive In do the kind of Braid thing, by taking hardcore structures, mixing them with pop, and beating then up a bit. Not that ATDI sound anything at all like Braid. I reckon there is a bit of Bluetip's most recent album in there, but that wouldn't be intentional as this might have even come out first. Songs like the oddly titled "Hulahoop Wounds" are stunningly good, where the mix of pop and the more bruising and shouty chorus pays off with great effect. The dark and brooding indie rock of "Napoleon Solo" reminds me of Liverpool's forgotten hardcore cum indie rockers, Cecil. The vocals in particular. And then there is the scruffy sorta bouncy pop-core of the unfeasibly catchy "Pickpocket". I could go on. I will go on. The persuasive rhythm and talked vocals of "Lopside", mixed with it's lightly jangling chorus bring to mind the Van Pelt in a way. That is followed by the completely different piano led melancholy sounding pop of the lovely "Hourglass", which in itself is followed by standout "Transatlantic Foe", probably my favourite song on here - pacy, shouty, rocking, pleasant, and tuneful all in one go.

By the way, their lyrics make absolutely no sense to me at all...

Look - band doing something original with indie rock / hardcore. Investigate forthwith.

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