There is no denying the magnitude that At The Drive In brought to the table in terms of live shows and albums. Their breakthrough album, Relationship Of Command was a much needed kick in the face when it came out. I still remember the first time I put the CD on and the moment the first song was just starting, I had a feeling this was going to be awesome and then “ARCARSENAL” hits and it was all over from there. What a song to kick off an album and live show. The force and power in this song is undeniable. This song is truly one of the best songs to kick off an album. I had the pleasure many years ago, think it was 2000 or 2001, before they broke up to see At The Drive In and what a show it was. They started their set with “Arcarsenal” and from there IT WAS ON! Everything about this song is perfect.
Arcarsenal (Album Version):
Arcarsenal (Live At The Glass House- I was at this show!):
Back in 2002, following the demise of At The Drive In, Sparta (made up of 3 of the members of ATDI) released their debut album, Wiretap Scars, and it left a lasting impact on me. From the moment I heard the first single, “Cut Your Ribbon,” I knew that this band was on to something and it was pretty great. When the album came out, I remember blasting “Cut Your Ribbon” on repeat quite a few times before I let the album play, and then that’s when it all changed. The second song on the album “Air,” was it for me. I couldn’t get past how truly great of a song it was and from that point, it never left my mind. It’s one of those songs that makes it to every long playlist I make as well as when I used to make mixes for people. When you listen to “Air” you get all sorts of feels pumping through your blood. So, take 4 minutes out of your day and let this one take you away.
There seems to be a river of inspiration flowing in Los Angeles. Over the past few years, the bands that have been making an impact in Los Angeles are something to really pay attention to. One such band is New Language. Formed in Los Angeles by Tyler Demorest and Matt Cohen, this band is rounded out by Sebastien Betley and Martin Dovali. New Language has a sound that combines the 90’s quiet to loud with a post hardcore vibe. Think if Failure and Sparta had a child. Their full length album Come Alive was produced by At The Drive In and Sparta drummer Tony Hajjar. The 10 songs on their album are rockin and full of life. Songs like “Wake Up,” “Right Now,” “Frantic Behavior,” and the title track “Come Alive” are perfect examples of why New Language needs to be on your radar.
There is a new “collective group” (I’ve stopped using the term Supergroup) out called Gone Is Gone. It’s made up of Troy Sanders of Mastodon, Troy Van Leeuwen of Queens of the Stone Age, Tony Hajjar of At The Drive In and Mike Zarin. On paper this sounds like it could sound really cool, but it just doesn’t do it sadly. So much talent, but the execution is lackluster. Speaking of lackluster, on their full length debut album Echolocation, Gone Is Gone did a cover of Portishead’s “Roads.” Their version really misses the mark and is quite possibly one of the worst covers I’ve ever heard. Hear it for yourself.
Gone Is Gone- Roads:
Portishead- Roads (Studio Version from Dummy):
Portishead- Roads (Live Version from Roseland Ballroom 1998):