Acrobatic Tenement review by At the Drive-In

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  • Released: Aug 18, 1996
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (3 votes)
At the Drive-In: Acrobatic Tenement

Sound — 8
At the Drive-In has a very unique sound, utilizing the tension/release technique in almost every song. Their sound could be described as Alternative/Grunge/Post-Hardcore. Most people call them Post-Hardcore but in my opinion they sound more Grunge than anything. Acrobatic Tenement was their first full length album, and also Omar Rodriguez Lopez played bass on this album, after the release of this album he becomes the lead guitar player. "Ebroglio" was written about Julio Venegas, a close friend of the band, who committed suicide in 1996. Acrobatic Tenement didn't have any impact on mainstream media but set At the Drive-In on track for underground success, as for music innovations I would say that the "cannon" style of Vocals/Backing Vocals would be somewhat innovative for this type of music, courtesy of Jim Ward and Cedric Bixler.

Lyrics — 9
Most of the lyrics are heavily metaphorical, but flow very well with the music. Cedric's singing skills are very unique and fit the sound perfectly. Cedric's vocals are unparalleled and have a very unique sound to them. And eventually helped to earn the title of "The next Nirvana" before breaking up.

Overall Impression — 10
This album stands out on its own, its just very unique and doesn't sound like anyone else. the most impressive song's to me were "Ticklish" and "Initiation". I love that this album didn't go mainstream and that the band stayed very true to their original sound throughout their career. If it were stolen I would kill someone.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Dude, what the **** are you talking about? A) there is no way in hell that At The Drive-In are grunge anything, they're more like Can or Kraftwork at heart than Nirvana, even though they're both amazing. B)Cedric's full name is Cedric Bixler-Zavala, even though he wasn't credited as it on ATDI releases. C) Cedric's lyrics aren't metaphorical, they have no meaning. Cedric wrote lyrics that sounded good for their delivery, not they're meanings. Learn something about a band before do a review of a record that came out 15 years ago, Jesus Christ.
    I just read this review to see what other people thought of AT, but this doesn't really tell me anything about the album. The idea that they stayed true to their original sound is a little odd to me too, I listened to Relationship Of Command first then thought "holy shit, this is good" and started buying their back catalogue. The sound definitely progresses between the albums, the guitars on AT are very clean and present a unique sound along with Cedric's scream compared to the shedloads of effects Omar piled on in his one-man war against the guitar. Maybe that's just my opinion though. Don't take the above comment to heart though, if they can't spell or use correct grammar they're in no place to criticise in my eyes.