At the Drive-In - Acrobatic Tenement (Cover Artwork)

At the Drive-In

At the Drive-In: Acrobatic TenementAcrobatic Tenement (1996)

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: NickFeeleynick f
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The world is supposed to end today. Oh, don't worry if you missed it, I missed it too. Similar to this missing the final day of earth as we knew it, several years ago I also came to the realization that 'hey Nick, you completely missed out on At the Drive In, you dickhead!' Yeah, I did. I only beca.
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The world is supposed to end today. Oh, don't worry if you missed it, I missed it too. Similar to this missing the final day of earth as we knew it, several years ago I also came to the realization that 'hey Nick, you completely missed out on At the Drive In, you dickhead!' Yeah, I did. I only became interested in the band as their videos for "One Armed Scissor" and "Invalid Litter Dept." began getting some late night play on MTV2 (hey I was only 14 at the time). Since then, the band had broken up (hiatus my ass) and went on to form the so-so Sparta and the so-so Mars Volta. What we are left with are a slew of albums that, if not epitomize, then definitely offer up a healthy contribution to what American post punk sounded like in the mid to late 90's.

"Acrobatic Tenement" is the bands first album. Although it is probably not considered to be as definitive as the jaw dropping "Vaya" EP or "In Casino Out", it is a decidely compelling listen. "Star Slight" starts the LP off, complete with disjointed vocal melodies, frayed guitar bashing, and persistent snare, pushing things in at a quick clip. Although most people equate At the Drive In with the Fugazi by way of Rage Against the Machine sound of later albums, "Acrobatic Tenement" actually finds the band playing in what some might consider a more typical indie rock fashion, ala Archers of the Loaf. Other comparison's could be drawn to "!" era Dismemberment Plan, and with a song like "Ebroglio"s shifting tempos, frayed guitar work, and stop start dynamic, it's not hard to see why. Of course, At the Drive In's characteristic oblique lyrical tendencies are blatantly on view here, song's like "Skips on the Record" have lines like "pregnant with the keys to your stickshift mood/ can't get yourself ignition". The album falters for a slight bit with a song like "Initiation", however the complaints here are so moot, that they aren't even worth writing about.

Looking back, alot can be said about At the Drive In. Their incendiary sound had a definite influence on a lot of bands we are seeing today like Thursday. And while we may not have them around any more, we certainly have the records, and "Acrobatic Tenement" is an excellent place to start. By the way, Earth should be ending in about 15 minutes, thought you might want to know.


People who liked this also liked:
At The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandAt The Drive-In - In/Casino/OutJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseOperation Ivy - Operation IvyWeezer - PinkertonAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Lawrence Arms - Cocktails And DreamsThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
eatdogs (October 9, 2009)

one of those albums where you can feel all the emotion and teen angst that the band had at the time. this is as good as alkaline trio's first album.

sciulli (May 30, 2005)

Skips on the Record = Best ATDI song

Anonymous (June 21, 2004)

I love The Mars Volta. Definitely not so-so to me. At The Drive-In was great. While this may not be my favorite ATD-I album, it's infectious. I like it.

Anonymous (April 29, 2004)

song 8 on this album is insane. atd-i never released a bad song in my opinion.
and as far as late night performances go, i still have to say Superdrag playing "the staggering genius" is the best i've seen.

GYBE (March 25, 2004)

Speaking of videos, I have a full length AtDi concert I got off soulseek. I recommend it, good sound/video quality. They basically play the entire ROC album.

Anonymous (January 27, 2004)

s0n, i do believe that VAYA was their best release.

i mean.. a seven song release. what is it? an EP? it is more full than most full lengths i know of... what a fucking paradox.

Anonymous (December 16, 2002)

jon stewart is god

Anonymous (December 15, 2002)

your wrong, jon stewart is the man and shortly after him is stephen colbert

Anonymous (December 13, 2002)

conan is the man. 3rd best show ever. agreed?

the rocky horror picture show? i bet you followed it up with a nice salad tossing. i watched that movie by accident once. i cleansed my self later that night by raping young asian girls in a dressing room at the limited.

good times...


Anonymous (December 13, 2002)

The Mars Volta have the potential to blow ATD-I away, but since their music is tottaly differnt it is hard to compare.

Anonymous (December 12, 2002)

ATDI maybe better than Sparta and Mars Volta, but we've hardly seen what they can do as bands. Sparta's new CD is really good and MV's EP is too. I'd give it some time before we judge how good they really are.

Anonymous (December 11, 2002)

they played a couple of songs on a show in england called Later...with jools holland. also on that night was robbie williams (used to be in a tacky uk boyband, now reckons he's frank sinatra or something, pretty much englands biggest pop star. sad fucker.), the look of horror on his face as atd-i were playing was priceless.

Anonymous (December 11, 2002)

I personally liked this more than the "jaw dropping "Vaya" EP"

Anonymous (December 11, 2002)

the person who said atdi sounds like the strokes had better be joking. and if he/she isn't, he/she needs to jump in front of a fucking bus.

Anonymous (December 11, 2002)

at the drive-in blows the strokes away man! what the fuck are you talking about?

Anonymous (December 11, 2002)

Bad Religion was on farmclub too.


Anonymous (December 11, 2002)

I'm not sure if they played letterman, but they played farmclub (on usa) on oct 30 and conan oct 31. cedric had the same shirt on. i have the farmclub one on tape and it was way better then conan. ironically ...trail of dead was on the farmclub too.

Anonymous (December 11, 2002)

I don't like these guys, I think they sound like a shittier version of the Strokes.

waste_elite (December 10, 2002)

conan and letterman always have the best musical guests

waste_elite (December 10, 2002)

nothing worse than dropping your keys when your drunk

i believe i spent an hour this saturday looking for my keys in the snow.


yeah ATDI did play letterman, i remember it well. one of the best late night performances i've seen.

Anonymous (December 10, 2002)

I have all their videos and live performances on video but unfortuneatly I live in New Zealand so I can't get them too you.

Anonymous (December 10, 2002)

In my opinon this album is highly under rated, just listen to it a few more times and read the lyrics.

Anonymous (December 10, 2002)

I remember the hloween one. I was all stoked to see them on tv, and in anticipation, I got really really drunk, and bussed it home. I almost made it too, except I decided to sit on my front lawn under the big tree and have a smoke before I went in.

So I wake up a while later, and it's 245. I had missed it by 15 minutes. To make matters worse, I realized right then that I'd dropped my keys somewhere. Shitty night.

Good album though. Not their best, but good.

maverick (December 10, 2002)

They were too on Letterman, it was in... December of 2000 I believe. Their Conan performance was on Halloween, I remember that [but I was out watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show downtown].


Anonymous (December 10, 2002)

they were on both

Anonymous (December 10, 2002)

They weren't on Letterman it was just Conan. O.K. review though i wished you wrote more about the album.

evildeadalive (December 10, 2002)

Good review.

Anonymous (December 10, 2002)

I can't find their letterman performance on Kazaa. Does anyone know where I can download it? Thanks.

Anonymous (December 10, 2002)

As a huge ATDI fan, I honestly love every album ... except this for some reason. Can't explain it really - maybe beacuse I'm more of an alternative fan than punk.

Anonymous (December 10, 2002)

listening to one armed scissor than listen to understanding in a car crash.
very similar

wait until mars volta...i promise a great record

chad (December 10, 2002)

scott, i found those atdi videos on kazaa, you could look there or if you have a fast computer my aim is bloodonourhands .

chad (December 10, 2002)

god i miss this band.

bitter (December 10, 2002)

huh? thursday being influenced by ATDI??


waste_elite (December 10, 2002)

i remember that letterman performance.

fucking awesome to say the least.

maverick (December 10, 2002)

I've never seen the "Invalid Litter Dept." video. Anyone have it taped? I'd pay for a dub.

I'd also pay for a dub of them performing on Conan and/or Letterman - I missed both performances.

At The Drive-In still blows away most music made today, it's really sad.


kirbypuckett (December 10, 2002)

You forgot De Facto! Not so shabby dub.

Am I the only one that anticipated Cedric's vocals on the Tribute for the West Memphis Three and felt let down?

- Scott
(Lint rides again)

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