At the Drive In, Inter Alia
It’s easy to turn a blind eye to the reunion of At the Drive In, since the El Paso band has barely changed stylistically since it splintered into Mars Volta and Sparta 16 years ago. But that would be minimizing the group’s reinvention of post-punk — angular rhythms, surreal lyrics, and Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s howling vocals and stage antics. Even if Inter Alia
tracks like “Continuum” and “Holtzclaw” sound familiar, At the Drive In still could teach any 21st-century punk band a thing or two. Bixler and guitarist Omar Rodriguez know that punk is not mere speed chords and moshing, but is best served by the rhythms favored by a band like Television. If more diversity was needed, Rodriguez could have brought in Mexican chanteuse Teri Gender Bender from his side project, Crystal Fairy, to share vocals with Bixler. But that would have been mere icing on a near-perfect cake.
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The Mars Volta, Fugazi