At The Drive-In: 20 Years, 15 Releases and a Hell of an Influence

At the Drive-In was unlike any else I had ever heard; they had a sense of angst that was so perfectly channeled that it barely seemed angsty somehow. It was raw emotion, but wrapped in ribbons and bundles that allowed it to be easily digestible, even more so than the Dischord Material I idolized (and still do). The band was artful and careful with how they did everything and, at the time, it seemed revolutionary. Now, some 4 or 5 years after that first initial meeting, I am sitting here re-visiting their discography in full, struck not only by its timelessness but by the band’s sonic evolution from release to release. Below is an exploration of those releases, their inner workings, and why they have retained such heavy, influential status among the post hardcore community.

Misanthropia – Omerta

Original concepts often lead to original execution, either out of the necessity to relay new information with a new combination of tools or because thinking outside the bounds of normalcy encourages a new level of creative engagement. There is certainly something to be said for this second one; it’s not rare to see albums of a novel conceptual nature end up sounding somewhat extraordinary as well. Hell, some artists even make careers out of this – The Dear Hunter’s episodic Act series of albums is, rather unconventionally, set in the era just following the first World War, and brings in many elements of musical theater, lounge, and big band to add some temporally appropriate weight, and rap trio clipping. have made quite a name for themselves out of eschewing genre trends, most recently exploring the intersection of sci-fi dark ambient, musique concrete, and hip-hop on their newest album, Splendor and Misery.

Psykup Are Back With Explosive New Track, “Violent Brazilian Massage”

Good lord, I can’t even believe I’m writing these words. Almost two years ago, I wrote about Psykup for the blog. We’re talking about a band that mixes Mr.Bungle, SikTh and The Dillinger Escape Plan into one messy, irreverent, and extremely violent version of chaos. When I wrote about them back then, I believed it was posthumously; they had been quiet for years and there was no sign they were coming back. Well, now they have! Out of nowhere, Psykup have released a new track and announced an upcoming album, Ctrl + Alt + Fuck. And you bet your ass the track is amazing as well. Head on down below to listen to it, pick your jaw up from the floor and then we’ll talk.

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE – Drone On With Twinesuns’ “System Regained”

A few weeks ago, we reviewed a unique album; The Empire Never Ended by Twinesuns is an evocative and darkly looming drone album, a sort of mix between Earth and a faint, urban nightmare. Melding loud guitars, rich synths and voluminous static, The Empire Never Ended is a distinct and special work of drone metal. It’s also quite good which is why we’re very happy to be premiering “System Regained” off of said album. The track perfectly encapsulates the tensions and textures of the release, containing several layers of instruments which border the line between “thundering” and “insidious”. Head on down below and make sure to adjust your volume accordingly; you don’t want to be blowing out any windows or driving passersby insane.

Pain of Salvation – In the Passing Light of Day

The figure of the auteur is one which we’ve discussed on the blog multiple times. More than just an artist figure, the auteur represents a willpower which motivates an entire project, stamping their name (for good or for bad) on an album, a discography or any other form of art. It also represents a site of unprecedented danger, as arrogance, egotism and a simple lack of inspiration hover on the edges of creativity and look for a way in, looking for a way to twist art into navel-gazing self congratulation. Pain of Salvation have been skirting with these ephemeral lines between artistic impetus and artistic extravagance for years now, ever since Daniel Gildenlöw closed ranks around his vision and aesthetic. The previous three albums (and, one might argue, perhaps four) were mostly about his vision and his expression. Thus, the latest release by the band is suspect; is In the Passing Light of Day, especially when considering the circumstances of Gildenlöw’s life (and near death), able to skirt away from the abyss of artistic self congratulation and produce something more?

Hey! Listen to Lo-Pan!

Way before Rush were progressive rock darlings, helping to usher in the genre’s golden age, they released their first, self titled album. Rush is much more a rock n’ roll affair, albeit one which includes all the hallmarks of Rush in nascent form. It’s comprised more of riffs and groove, heavily relying on Geddy Lee’s vocals than future albums will. The self titled album is often forgotten but there’s something about Lee’s voice over thick guitars that is very rare to find. Strangely enough, a band called Lo-Pan, releasing an EP this year called In Tensions, scratch that itch and then some, doubling down with Torche influences on the rest of the instruments.

63 – How Is This Train Still Going?

Do you like deathcore? My condolences. Oh, I’m just kidding. There are some good bands in the genre. On an unrelated note (truly), there’s a new Within the Ruins song and a playthrough as well. Also, Born of Osiris are redoing their debut plus a new song, and the new Aversions Crown is great. We also discovered some more Season of Mist stuff, namely Replacire. Nergal of Behemoth’s new project Me And That Man is, well, interesting. Then we get incensed about people getting incensed about bands applying new funding and marketing models. Then we discuss why vocals are the main off-putting thing for a lot of people, and on that note, how avant-garde bands aren’t really that avant-garde. Enjoy!