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Acrobatic Tenement

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Album Review

Though Acrobatic Tenement may only be a blueprint for the band's later albums, it comes fully formed — and as forceful as a bullet to the head. Cedric Dixler's barked emotional ferocity is perfectly complemented by nimble dual guitars, while Pall's bass snakes in and out of the heady mix. The result is a lurching masterpiece of an album that threatens to explode — or implode — at any moment. Unlike most hardcore bands, At the Drive-In know the value of subtlety, a trick they use to create an elaborate punk/metal soundscape of rhythms and tempo shifts. Not that these guys don't rock; in fact, slowing down once in a while gives the harder sections even more intensity. This is great music in the tradition of the Stooges and Fugazi, and is reminiscent of both those bands at their best. Not just a great album of the post-everything '90s, but a true timeless masterpiece of oblique lyrical insights and furiously rocking good tunes.

Customer Reviews

It's so good

Buy it, you stupid dummy!

The start of something great...

...also, it's Bixler, not 'Dixler'. Stupid iTunes. But great band at any rate.

These are demos. This should've been a real album.

This should've been a real album from At The Drive-In. The band actually turned demos for "Acrobatic Tenement" for the label at the time. Instead of allowing the band to re-record them into an actual album, the label instead haphazardly released the demos as the actual album. So if quality of these lo-fi recordings sound like demos, that's because they are.


Formed: 1994 in El Paso, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Combining emotional melodies and upbeat rhythms moving at an unpredictable rate, At the Drive-In definitely stuck out in their hometown of El Paso, Texas. Formed in early 1994, the group debuted soon after with its first EP, Hell Paso, followed by a brief tour across the Lone Star State. With a lineup secured around Cedric Bixler (vocals), Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Jim Ward (guitar), Paul Hinojos (bass), and Tony Hajjar (drums), At the Drive-In continued on with a second EP (Alfaro Vive, Carajo!)...
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