Review 9: At the Drive-In Part Wun

Posted on November 25, 2011

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I iz badd-ass. foto@me

Method of choosing: I held down the down arrow key and stroked my cat until she ran away. This was the folder I stopped at. (It’s worth mentioning that I made it through 2 rounds of the entire collection of albums until the dollface got tired of my stroking. She is a fluffy little diva, she is.)

The fluffy diva, and my musical inspiration foto@me

Albums available: Acrobat Tenement, El Gran Orgo, In Casino Out, Relationship of Command, Vaya

Hypothesis:

Drive-ins are American, so this must be American and their music must be Americana, somewhat like Wilco. This has to be dudes, right? Dudes love drive-ins. They should be young stringy-haired dudes with thin T-shirts soaked in sweat and stuck to their chests. They probably started while jamming after school in someone’s mom’s basement-studio. The music should be college-rocky, with a shoegaze vibe.

Actual music:

Acrobat Tenement kicks off with plenty of angst. So they ARE dudes. It’s definitely rocky, but actually maybe more punk than rock. Oh yes, definitely punk. Sigh. It has the one major thing I dislike about punk, which is the… shouting. SO MUCH SHOUTING. And the twangy clash of drums and cymbals in the background. And the shouting. Oh dear. “Ebroglio” starts off with a disembodied voice proclaiming universal truths about “friends who ___ (insert verb phrase)”. That was quite interesting. And then the shouting starts again. It does start to get better a few tracks down though, more musically palatable. It’s probably Stockholm Syndrome.

El Gran Orgo – wait a minute, what could that possibly mean? – is actually pretty fun. The screaming is dialled down and even somewhat melodious. There were shades of college rock in some tracks, and at least the kids sounded like they were having (literally and figuratively) a big blast. This album is short, so luckily it ends after 7 tracks and leaves my ears more or less intact.

While I load up In Casino Out, I think it’s worth pondering punk. It’s a big thing to think about. However, all the screaming jamming dissonance is distracting me from any form of thinking. In the novel The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, there was a quote about punk that has stayed with me –

“Some people, me included, believe that punk is just the most recent manifestation of this, this spirit, that things aren’t right, and in fact that things are so wrong that the only thing we can do is say Fuck it, over and over again, really loud, until someone stops us.”

I love that quote, I love it when someone so effortlessly expresses the intangible so clearly. With that in mind, though, In Casino Out actually seemed… kind of empty. A little bit cardboard, almost. It made me stop the album and go load up The Ramones. Now those are just wins.

Damn the KKK!

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