Hey look another music entry.
But yeah here I am. Top 10 At The Drive In songs. This actually came to me last night when I decided I wanted to make a list of my top 10 favorite songs by my favorite band of all time. But yeah, here I am. Top 10 At The Drive In songs, here we go. I decided I might do this for some of my other favorite bands if people like this, so yeah. Another rule is I wanted one entry from every studio album. But let's get started with looking at some of the best from the El Paso post-hardcore giants!
10. Bradley Smith (Alfaro Vive, Carajo)
Some of you might not know what Alfaro Vive, Carajo is, but it's At The Drive-In's first EP. Yeah. So this song..... It's a great one. At the time, At The Drive In was much more of kind of an emo band than really post-hardcore, and yeah, this has a really... dark subject matter. It's basically something along the lines of someone trying to wake a dead person named Bradley, talking about how he "knows he's there". It's just a very dark song, but the instrumentals don't sound too dark which actually makes the song decently interesting. Anyways pretty good song, definitely my favorite off Alfaro Vive, Carajo. I also enjoy Plastic Memories, which is just kind of a creepy song, while I don't think this one is, just pretty dark.
9. Non-Zero Possibility (Relationship Of Command)
This song.... I can't find the meaning of it anywhere, and honestly, I really can't make out exactly what this song is about. I've heard people say it's about abortion, death, but I'm sticking with Genius (the lyric website, formally known as Rap Genius)'s definition of it being about Cedric (ATDI's lead singer) reflecting on the death of many of his friends that have died in the course of his career with ATDI, with another song about one specific person earlier in the band's career, which would become the central topic of Cedric's next venture after ATDI split, The Mars Volta's first album, and in a way, it's kind of a precursor to that album in a way. Anyway, besides that, it's a quiet, melancholy song to end off one of the most important post-hardcore records of all time. I love the piano at the start. I love Cedric's almost tired-sounding voice. It's a melancholic song, and an effective one.
8. Shaking Hand Incision (In/Casino/Out)
In/Casino/Out is my least favorite ATDI album. It's not bad by any stretch of the word, but I definitely don't enjoy it as much as I do with the others. I definitely think it's ATDI's weirdest and noisiest album, and while I can be fine with both usually, I don't know, I just don't feel I enjoy it as much as I should. Maybe one of these days I'll revisit the album, which I probably will because I really want to strongly appreciate this album as I do with Relationship Of Command and Acrobatic Tenement (ATDI's first), so I hope that'll happen. But this album has some fantastic songs, and this isn't even my favorite, that'll come later. This is one of them. With this album, I feel like ATDI was transitioning to the sound on Relationship Of Command, and I feel like this song could fit right at home on that album. It's not SUPER fast, but it's decently fast and i love the drumming and the riff in the song along with the kind of violent lyrics. Also I love the way Cedric says "assualt" as random of a thing that may be.
7. Initiation (Acrobatic Tenement)
Hey look first Acrobatic Tenement entry. Anyways, this is another kind of chilling song with nice instrumentals and a kind of... relaxing atmosphere, but a dark as fuck meaning, well, I can't find a specific meaning, but both I've found are rather dark, one says the song is about a stalker and the other says it's about a car accident where people died on their way to a show. Either way I'm pretty certain the meaning of the song involves a concert of some sort. Anyways, a chilling song with some pretty interesting instrumentals as they seem to go for kind of a soothing vibe.
6. Quarantined (Relationship Of Command)
Second Relationship Of Command entry. This is another weird song with generally a relaxing atmosphere, but has these really complexed and kind of weird lyrics, entailing weapons and breaking out of prison and viruses. It's a weird song that I can't really put a meaning on, but it's super enjoyable. Also got to love the thunder sound effect right at the start of the song. Just another chilling song with weird, yet thought-provoking and interesting lyrics. Can't say much else.
5. Lopsided (In/Casino/Out)
Here we go into the amazing territory, starting with this cut from In/Casino/Out. Another song I can't seem to put why it's so enjoyable into words, but I'll try my best. Let's start with the surreal lyrics, as well as the noisy intro and outro. That outro is simply chilling as the song really winds down and it just has this really spine-chilling piano with all this weird talking in the background. It always sends a chill down my spine and makes me uneasy, but it's a good kind of uneasy. It's the kind I felt like after listening to Spiderland by Slint; kind of uneasy, yet pleased because music can make you feel that way, which shows how powerful music can be, but that's another topic for another time. Also it's worth noting it isn't the noisy chilling kind of sound ATDI usually goes for save for the outro actually. Fantastic song.
4. Invalid Letter Dept. (Relationship Of Command)
Before I discuss this song, I would like to take a moment to discuss the meaning of this song. This song is about the female homicides committed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, not too far from El Paso (where ATDI is from) where women who worked in maquiladoras which is a manufacturing operation where factories import certain material and assemble, process, and manufacture them and send them back to the owner or that country, and these girls were typically raped, murdered, or mutilated by others. The Mexican police typically did not respond to these cases, which a big part of the song is criticizing the authority for how shitty what they did is. Anyways, the lyrics have this really scientific feel to them which makes that interesting, and besides that, it's a really dark and depressing song, yet thought-provoking and interesting concerning the horrors of the homicides, and the outro is one of the best parts of the song where the guitars pretty much stop the whole thing it was doing in the song and Cedric's vocal delivery changes and he eventually starts screaming along with the guitars sounding more complexed than they usually do, and the song ends peacefully. A really dark and chilling song, that remains to be poignant and a reminder of the horrors that happened in Ciudad Juarez.
3. Paid Vacation Time (Acrobatic Tenement)
This song is overall just eerie, as well as just kind of... depressing. It starts with this quiet intro that's spine-curdling, especially at night alone. The song keeps that noisy and eerie vibe throughout the entire song with the lyrics detailing something about betrayal. I really can't say much more then it's an eerie and depressing song with great lyrics and equally eerie and depressing instrumentals that are able to make this song kind of.... eerie and chilling at times.
2. Ebroglio (Acrobatic Tenement)
As with Invalid Letter Dept., this is a song where first I would like to discuss the meaning of this song. This song is about the suicide of Cedric's friend Julio Venegas, who died about 6 months before Acrobatic Tenement came out by jumping into oncoming traffic, and a large portion of this song is Cedric reflecting on just what happened, and his feelings after such a horrible thing happened to him. Here I truly feel you can hear Cedric singing his heart out, especially with that super heart felt opening poem. There's a lot of personal stuff in the poem that I feel like just makes the song even more powerful, citing personal instances involving Julio such as "Getting drunk one night in the trunk of Louie P's car" and describing how important of a friend Julio was to him and excluding the opening poem there's a lot of talk about how important Julio was to Cedric and there's him talking about how "it's all a facade, but nothing really matters now." It's an extremely powerful song, definitely, in my opinion, ATDI's most emotionally powerful. And yes, I should bring up that Julio Venegas went on to be the central subject of The Mars Volta's first album, De-Loused In The Comatorium.
And here we go.
1. Arcarsenal (Relationship Of Command)
This was an easy number one.
In my opinion, it's because this song is the best example of ATDI's signature aggressive post-hardcore sound that got known on Relationship Of Command. This song is like a musical rollercoaster to me. First it starts with the intros of the maracas and the guitar riff, which to me resembles going up the rollercoaster before you drop, then everything just slows down for a few seconds, and then the guitars come at full force, which represents the drop to me, and Cedric just starts screaming. And oh boy, this gives me goosebumps every time. Maybe this connection is because the first time I listened to Relationship Of Command was on the way to an amusement park, but oh man this song gets my adrenaline pumping so hard and I remember the first time I listened to this I absolutely fell in love. Such a strong, powerful, adrenaline pumper that's easily ATDI's best. And there's the parts where the song slows down and then it goes straight back to Cedric screaming his lungs out. And the lyrics (the song is actually rumored to be about Jeffrey Dahmer) have this basically adventurous vibe concerning "seeing a thousand faces, and these voices won't give up" and "I must have robbed them of their cause". Just so fucking adrenaline pumping and kickass, it embodies everything ATDI stands for, and that's why it's my favorite ATDI song.
And yeah those are my choices. I felt like my explanations were kind of meh because I really do have a hard time saying why I enjoy these songs so much in words, but I try my best. And here's the songs if you want to listen to all of them: