At The Drive-In - Vaya [10-inch rerelease] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

At The Drive-In

Vaya [10-inch rerelease] (2012)

Fearless Records

It was nice to see these guys back at Coachella again. There was just as much heat as there was praise for this "reunion," .coupled with the unnecessary "Sparta versus Mars Volta" wars and arguments. No need to get into all that, because Vaya to me seems not that revolutionary, but still a class apart in the post-hardcore genre.

"Rascuache" and "Ursa Minor" are really outstanding in showing the technical capacity of this band. There is a solid foundation in these songs and Cedric Bixler-Zavala's ability to spew some random mash-up of anger and poetry fits nicely here. The nostalgia when listening to this rerelease was pretty fucking sweet. I forgot how much I ranked it with In.Casino.Out. and Acrobatic Tenement.

It blew my mind that music this good rarely comes along, and hearing the likes of Jim Ward with his guttural screams complement Cedric and the brilliance of Paul Hinojos on the bass with Omar Rodriguez Lopez's eclectic and fucking sick-ass guitar-skills really set me back and turned the clock in rewind. "Metronome Arthritis" is just a prime example as to why this band kicks that much ass.

"Initiation," "Hourglass" and "Pattern Against User" are all so extraordinary and are my favorites but Tony Hajjar and the boys just always seem the give really moving and powerful compositions from album to album. They don't sound the same to me. This is something few bands can really capture. These three songs I always felt would have fit nicely into this EP but now hearing this re-release, I realize, Vaya is amazing just the way it was originally released.

"Proxima Centauri" and "Heliotrope" continue in this same vein with such fluidity. Cedric's poetry and crackhead lyrics...did I mention they rock? Really. They do. Hard. Oh, I love Jim Ward also. Such a boss! "300 Mhz" paves nicely for the emotional masterpiece "198d," which is a tribute actually laid on the grave on Tony's grandmother when she passed. It really fittingly rounds out an album that will forever stand the test of time.