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At The Drive-In - This Station Is Non-Operational (Cover Artwork)

At The Drive-In

At The Drive-In: This Station Is Non-OperationalThis Station Is Non-Operational (2005)
Fearless Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

One of the most prevalent, opinionated arguments when it comes to music is the prejudiced teeter-totter whether if a band should fade away into the dusty bins at used record stores or go out on top leaving their fans craving more. Some listeners have no quandary in continually listening to rehashed .
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One of the most prevalent, opinionated arguments when it comes to music is the prejudiced teeter-totter whether if a band should fade away into the dusty bins at used record stores or go out on top leaving their fans craving more. Some listeners have no quandary in continually listening to rehashed material from better days in the careers of musicians. For example, pop-rockers Weezer devoured a five-year absence with their comeback "Green Album," although its sales were every bit as upbeat as the catchy singles, most agree the record and its predecessors do not hold up to legendary releases the "Blue Album" and Pinkerton. On the other side of the park, audiophiles bathe in the ideology that accompany timely exists, cementing the impact from the music forever into whatever history it may hold. Refused, Jawbreaker, and Kid Dynamite are a few modern acts that fit the end description, and while many yearn for reunion tours, fans can confidently assure themselves those renowned images will not be tarnished. In favor of El Paso, Texas' post-punk quintet At The Drive-In, it is particularly the latter, abruptly fracturing their vocation on the heals of their zenith release, with mainstream success overly imminent. By now, every ear as heard the story of how Sparta and the Mars Volta have formed polar opposites of each other's resonance and implement their paramount to carry on the ATDI crown.

Within only four years of their termination, the group has readied the customary disc that glimpses back into all areas of their storied past. This compilation is not another monotonous greatest hits collection. Instead, the track-listing to This Station Is Non-Operational reflects an omnibus of 18 career-spanning songs selected by the former members of the band themselves. The anthology narrates in a chronological fashion, from the early El Gran Orgo EP to the storied Relationship Of Command, concluded by a set of interesting rare and unreleased matter. "Fahrenheit" and "Picket Fence Cartel" emphasize the earlier moments with a sound easily formed in the essence of when the term "emo" meant more post-hardcore than cute haircuts. These primitive instances, including four songs from the pivotal in/CASINO/OUT, enlighten a young band who, while still struggling to find their niche in the industry, are every bit as memorable and musically firm as they currently reside in current projects.

1999's Vaya EP is habitually credited as the monumental check point for ATDI fully crafting the sound they would be acknowledged for over their seven-year existence. "Metronome Arthritis" and "198d" emphasize the slower, passed spastic qualities contained in the guitars and Bixler's unique vocal traits. Complaints are sure to fire as the guitars that roared Relationship Of Command's introductory "Arc Arsenal," because along with other fan favorites "Pattern Against User" and "Invalid Letter Department," they are not showcased. Aside from the obvious inclusion of the single, "One Armed Scissor," the colossal release on the defunct Grand Royal records is met by "Enfilade;" the distinctive song fully highlights what each member of the band was individually capable of. The last representative of readily available recordings is one of ATDI's more interesting and diverse musical offerings, "Non-Zero Possibility," mastering what in/CASINO/OUT and Vaya hinted at.

The most attractive aspect of This Station Is Non-Operational would be its three idiosyncratic and previously unreleased B-sides, covers, a remix, and a live recording. The Latch Bros. rendition of "Rascuache" hints at what the afro-laden Cedric and Omar's side project, the dub-based Defacto, were capable of. One might not consider the Smith's material as a prime basis for an ATDI cover, however "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" does see an interesting upgrade with their CRUNCHING guitars and Bixler's unique WAIL. On the other side of the spectrum, "Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk" by Pink Floyd bodes well with their prog-rock tendencies. Footnoting their phenomenal career B-sides is "Incetardis" from the One Armed Scissor single along with "Doorman's Placebo" and "Autorelocator" from two rare splits appear. Of all the additional songs, no other stands out quite like "Inititiation," taken from a live recording at the BBC in London (originally recorded on their debut Acrobatic Tenement); musically, it is simple like their other, initial songs, but with Cedric again stunning all, this time in a rare instance of actually singing.

There is a sensational trail of hype that follows At The Drive-In as well as their former members. Influentially, musicians are storming in the droves proudly paying homage to the group or blatantly ripping them off. Music enthusiasts scour eBay for rare ATDI merchandise and memorabilia that is sure to drain their wallets. Topping it off, the Internet is chalk-full of message boards bickering back in forth about Sparta and the Mars Volta. This Station Is Non-Operational is the perfect reflection of a renowned career that puts all of the aforementioned squabble aside, permitting their fans one long last look into they remarkable eye that is At The Drive-In.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Against Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Clash - Give 'Em Enough RopeDefiance, Ohio - The Great DepressionOperation Ivy - Operation IvyAgainst Me! - We're Never Going Home DVDAt The Drive-In - In/Casino/OutAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityThe Clash - London Calling

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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.
istapledmyfoot (June 16, 2005)

"I tend to agree with that. Whats with all the bigger reviews here taking essay form? Lets see...the introductory paragraph thats a little on the fluff side to hook people in: check, the overly wordy body paragraphs: check, a nice little conclusion paragraph: check. Its a freaking CD review, not a fucking essay! It doesn't have to be multiple paragraphs and hundreds of words. I read reviews in magazines and papers and stuff all the time, and they're maybe 100-200 words max, and I get a better idea of the album than I do from these fucking CD review essays. "

Admittedly, this review was iffy, but what the hell is wrong with trying to be actual writers? 'a nice little conclusion paragraph', 'the introductory paragraph thats a little on the fluff side to hook people in'.. what's wrong with good structure?

And also, to the dudes who were calling Refused overrated, you're all wrong.

Anonymous (June 15, 2005)

Buy this only if you're a completist and don't have a turntable to get the assorted B-sides from the various EPs--this one's missing a lot of great songs to be called a real Anthology.

Get the new Relationship of Command re-issue and In/Casino/Out for "Invalid Litter Dept.", "Mannequin Republic", "Cosmonaut," "Alpha Centauri," "Devil Among the Tailors," and "Hulahoop Wounds."

I personally cringe at listening to Acrobatic Tenement; these extremely lo-fi recordings make them sound really amateurish and crappy.

Gray Davis
Special Counsel
Loeb & Loeb

Anonymous (June 15, 2005)

Stupid way for fearless to to make an extra buck....with all the talent? on that label now they should be set for life. HA.

Bring back Chuck and 30 foot fall.

Anonymous (June 15, 2005)

At the drive-in...ehhh go buy "vaya" "acrobatic tenement" and "in casino out" fuck the rest of it.

Anonymous (June 13, 2005)

"Seriously, this review is written by the biggest bull-shitter I've ever heard. That first paragraph is total fluff... you're reviewing a goddamn compilation cd, not providing a weezer history lesson. And for god's sake, quit throwing around shit like "prog-rock tendencies"... do you even know what the hell that means, or are you just regurgitating the same press shit we've had to read about the Mars Volta for the past year? The reviewer obviously cares less about writing about this anthology than he does with making himself sound educated."

I tend to agree with that. Whats with all the bigger reviews here taking essay form? Lets see...the introductory paragraph thats a little on the fluff side to hook people in: check, the overly wordy body paragraphs: check, a nice little conclusion paragraph: check. Its a freaking CD review, not a fucking essay! It doesn't have to be multiple paragraphs and hundreds of words. I read reviews in magazines and papers and stuff all the time, and they're maybe 100-200 words max, and I get a better idea of the album than I do from these fucking CD review essays.

-skizot

Anonymous (June 13, 2005)

at the drive in sucks, sparta sucked and so does mars volta

Anonymous (June 13, 2005)

man, you motherfuckers need hobbies.

-----------
Fuck you i got my hardcore and me porn,no need no mo

-BSD

Anonymous (June 13, 2005)

man, you motherfuckers need hobbies.

Anonymous (June 13, 2005)

enough with the synonyms and adjectives....this review stinks and i dont like it.

-jim norton

Anonymous (June 12, 2005)

This review is garbage. For instance:

"In favor of El Paso, Texas’ post-punk quintet At The Drive-In, it is particularly the latter, abruptly fracturing their vocation on the heals of their zenith release, with mainstream success overly imminent."

Realize you can't actually write well, so stop pretending you can.

Just for the record, BSD does whine a ton and suck a load of dick.

Anonymous (June 12, 2005)

"ATDI > Sparta > Mars Volta"

Here here, Prankish.

Anonymous (June 12, 2005)

What does BSD stand for anyways? Boy Sucks Dick?

Anonymous (June 12, 2005)

Does anyone here whine more than BSD does?

Anonymous (June 11, 2005)

it's CHOCK-full, not chalk

Anonymous (June 11, 2005)

Wow, methinks that Kirby has an unjustifiably high opinion of his writing skills. Just because you use "big" words doesn't mean that your English skills aren't shit. The first sentence almost gave me a stroke. How awful. You should have your own show on CNN, as you are obviously good at trudging through sentence after sentence while, at the same time, actually saying nothing.

Anonymous (June 11, 2005)

band is overrated
coheed is also a shitty band

Anonymous (June 11, 2005)

"(of course you have a complaint, this is Punknews.org)"

There's a lot of half-assed projects that get released into the indie scene. It's good when people point it out - even on this site, a lot of the complaints actually have some merit - because it raises the bar for other bands and record labels.

Now I haven't seen the DVD, but if it really is only 10 minutes long that's pretty weak. They should have damn well done better if they wanted to be praised for including one. Seriously, it if was your band and you were going to release a bonus DVD, would you have pulled something that lame? I know I wouldn't have.

OC

Crookedsuperhero (June 11, 2005)

"It was a reply to the rant that alluded to this being a cash-in effort by the label. Fool.

-BSD"

"To all of you who are bitching about songs being excluded:"

Wrong.

Anonymous (June 11, 2005)

"If you look up the word "overrated" in the dictionary, it would have a picture of Refused."
Fuck off, you don't know shit about music.

phdecontrol (June 11, 2005)

"Seriously, this review is written by the biggest bull-shitter I've ever heard. That first paragraph is total fluff... you're reviewing a goddamn compilation cd, not providing a weezer history lesson. And for god's sake, quit throwing around shit like "prog-rock tendencies"... do you even know what the hell that means, or are you just regurgitating the same press shit we've had to read about the Mars Volta for the past year? The reviewer obviously cares less about writing about this anthology than he does with making himself sound educated.

As far as this compilation goes, I think its all right. Everybody needs to quit whining about how Invalid Litter Dept isn't on there. Who gives a fuck if its not on there? Listen to fucking Relationship of Command if you want to hear it. The point is, there's no point buying it if you have their albums: the covers are both weak, the Rascuache remix kind of ruins the intensity of the song, and the b-sides "Incetardis" and "Doorman's Placebo" are pretty much characteristic of b-sides in that they have a hook, but not a consistent melody to back it up. But this is still an allright compilation in that it provides new fans of Mars Volta/Sparta a way to see a history of the band that ultimately leads to their split. Take the descision to include "Enfilade" and "Non-Zero Possibility": the former being decidedly experimental and dub-like, the latter a piano-driven conventional ballad. You can see the conflict in the music which caused the tension which broke up the band."

I'm so glad you know everything, otherwise I would be lost without your vast knowledge on how to write a review. For christ's sake, it gives the information you need to know in the review, what more do you really need? I don't know shit about ATDI, other than they split to form Sparta and Mars Volta. And the whole Weezer thing was just to put things in perspective. Maybe instead of bitching, you should write a review next time.

Anonymous (June 11, 2005)

It was a reply to the rant that alluded to this being a cash-in effort by the label. Fool.

-BSD

Crookedsuperhero (June 11, 2005)

"To all of you who are bitching about songs being excluded:

The members of At The Drive-In, not Fearless, assembled this tracklisting. They handpicked every album track, B-side and rarity. They said what was and wasn't going to be on the companion DVD. If you have a complaint (of course you have a complaint, this is Punknews.org), file it with the band members, not the record label.

-Scott"

Again, why would that stop people bitching about the tracklisting? What difference does it make if the label did it or they did it?

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

I'm not really blaming anyone for the DVD being weak, I just wished there was more to it. I remember downloading some footage of them playing in Australia, it was amazing and really well filmed. I never got to see them play live because I got into them after they went on "hiatus", so I just want a decent DVD of their live stuff.

vocalyouth (June 10, 2005)

Frodus ruled. Way ahead of their time.

Bowen (June 10, 2005)

This review is far too wordy, so wordy that I stopped about halfway through.

maverick (June 10, 2005)

To all of you who are bitching about songs being excluded:

The members of At The Drive-In, not Fearless, assembled this tracklisting. They handpicked every album track, B-side and rarity. They said what was and wasn't going to be on the companion DVD. If you have a complaint (of course you have a complaint, this is Punknews.org), file it with the band members, not the record label.

-Scott

CherryColaRain (June 10, 2005)

At the Drive-In kick so much ass. So this should be a treat, I just have a question...Did they add "Heliothrope" and "Napolean Solo" in this? "Napolean Solo" is one of their greatest songs and, at least to me, "Heliothrope" is damn catchy!

SoupIsGoodFood (June 10, 2005)

The DVD isn't even worth mentioning, it's three videos and a lame press kit. Also, I think I am the only person who liked the Smiths cover...

prankish (June 10, 2005)

Just a killer fucking band. Shame they went under, I really liked the way they were progressing. I still consider RoC one of the best CDs I own.

ATDI > Sparta > Mars Volta

kirbypuckett (June 10, 2005)

I don't mind Frodus

- Kirby

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

who the fuck is frodus???

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

Seriously, this review is written by the biggest bull-shitter I've ever heard. That first paragraph is total fluff... you're reviewing a goddamn compilation cd, not providing a weezer history lesson. And for god's sake, quit throwing around shit like "prog-rock tendencies"... do you even know what the hell that means, or are you just regurgitating the same press shit we've had to read about the Mars Volta for the past year? The reviewer obviously cares less about writing about this anthology than he does with making himself sound educated.

As far as this compilation goes, I think its all right. Everybody needs to quit whining about how Invalid Litter Dept isn't on there. Who gives a fuck if its not on there? Listen to fucking Relationship of Command if you want to hear it. The point is, there's no point buying it if you have their albums: the covers are both weak, the Rascuache remix kind of ruins the intensity of the song, and the b-sides "Incetardis" and "Doorman's Placebo" are pretty much characteristic of b-sides in that they have a hook, but not a consistent melody to back it up. But this is still an allright compilation in that it provides new fans of Mars Volta/Sparta a way to see a history of the band that ultimately leads to their split. Take the descision to include "Enfilade" and "Non-Zero Possibility": the former being decidedly experimental and dub-like, the latter a piano-driven conventional ballad. You can see the conflict in the music which caused the tension which broke up the band.

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

"If you look up the word "overrated" in the dictionary, it would have a picture of Refused."

-So true, you can add At the Drive In there too

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

Umm... Where the fuck is the botch dvd?

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

"Where's the fucking Refused DVD? They were a thousand times better than ATDI."

If you look up the word "overrated" in the dictionary, it would have a picture of Refused.

Kenjamin (June 10, 2005)

Oh and BSD, it is true. no one gives a fuck about Frodus. Thanks for agreeing with me.

Kenjamin (June 10, 2005)

floppy cap? what are you trying to say there? Who plays guitar like Shelby Cinca? That's right, nobody.

inagreendase (June 10, 2005)

mxpx review?????

Tuesday.

kirbypuckett (June 10, 2005)

I wrote this at work, I new the songs, but I have yet to watch the DVD so I skipped that part.

Maybe we can add it in later...maybe not!

- Kirby

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

mxpx review?????

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

if an band has split and they aint getting back together, then anytime is a good time to release an anthology, numbnuts.

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

this cd just seems too soon for a band like ATDI to be releasing an anthology. it makes me upset that somebody somewhere is going to make some kind of money off this when this is completely necessary. its too soon to starting packing such terrific songs by a monumental band in such a way that fearless is doing. i will never understand why anyone would support this album

OH WHY don't you just SHUT THE FUCK UP AND JUMP OFF A CLIFF YOU OVER ANALYTICAL BASTARD. FUCKING KILL YOURSELF.

on another note, this cd rules and this band will forever be badass. Fuck all the tbs bullshit that killed what was once soooooooooooooooogud.

CrookedSuperhero (June 10, 2005)

Needed Invalid Litter Dept. on the CD and DVD that lasted longer than 10 minutes.

Besides that, good stuff.

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

What is this cd supposed to be? As a greatest hits album, it fails miserably by leaving out almost all of the band's best songs. As a collection of rare songs, remixes, and b-sides, it's pointles since most of the tracks here are readily available. They put together a group of songs to try to summarize the band's career and failed miserably by leaving out their most pivotal work. If you bought this, you got fucked.

threechordsandthetruth (June 10, 2005)

"Relationship In Command"
ha!

This release isn't bad really. Could have asked for more (Give It A Name, Star Slight).. but they didn't ignore the older stuff.

To the guy complaining about the lack of live stuff, there's tons of video bootlegs online. Try:

http://www.thecomatorium.com
or
http://libra.kpsi.pl/ma rsvolt/tmv/

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

At the Drive In, Sparta & Mars Volta all suck wombat dicks!

istapledmyfoot (June 10, 2005)

Where's the fucking Refused DVD? They were a thousand times better than ATDI.

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

frodus is tops.

Decahredon is tops.

All the frodus boys side projects (out circuit, unwed sailor, theres more) are tops.

I'm a bottom in the homoerotic frodus relationship.

What im trying to say is, if you were a homophobe, and frodus was, say, henry rollins, he could change you.

wyzo

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

No one gives a fuck about Frodus or that asshole's floppy cap.

-BSD

Kenjamin (June 10, 2005)

Throw Frodus onto the list of bands going out on top.

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

this cd just seems too soon for a band like ATDI to be releasing an anthology. it makes me upset that somebody somewhere is going to make some kind of money off this when this is completely necessary. its too soon to starting packing such terrific songs by a monumental band in such a way that fearless is doing. i will never understand why anyone would support this album

Anonymous (June 10, 2005)

it is just not in my good nature to support something like this "anthology"

Archangel (June 10, 2005)

"many urn for reunion tours"?

Proofread next time.

Inspection12e (June 10, 2005)

Kirby with two reviews? To what do we owe this pleasure?

vocalyouth (June 10, 2005)

score is for DVD. big disappointment.

inagreendase (June 10, 2005)

Good review, though you did forget to mention the DVD portion (which I haven't watched yet, but disappointingly contains no live footage). The disclusion of Alfrero Vivo, Carejo! is understandable, but Acrobatic Tenement's is questionable. I could've gone for one or two more rare tracks, too.

Otherwise, this is pretty great and a splendid footnote to their career. 2005 is definitely the year of anthologies / greatest hits, and this one is right up there.

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