AT THE DRIVE IN- Inter alia

I received an email from REPEAT’s Editor: ‘Would it impress your new neighbours if you reviewed this?’ (I’ve just moved to North Cornwall). My reply: ‘My neighbours are dogs’. True story. I live at an animal centre now, almost in the middle of nowhere. My neighbours include around 30 canines, 40 cats and the odd chicken and seagull, sometimes even a hedgehog. I think there are some lambs in a field down the road. I really want to know what they think of this. I imagine a kind of rock opera, starring a cow and possibly a collie.


Anyway, that aside, At The Drive In, in case you didn’t know, were massive in the early noughties and hearing new material again now seems quite weird. Why? Well, because it’s almost like they haven’t been anywhere, even though they have had a whopping 17-years off (this is only their second album). Given this fact, it is no surprise that they harp back to a time where Biffy didn’t write songs with a chorus to be sung by a stadium crowd and a break where the drums keep time to a mass hand clap, post-hardcore triumphed and the boys I knew and adored worshipped these men like Gods, emulating their music, their style and only dreamt of having the same massive afro. And, though I feel like I say this a lot, ATDI also betray the nostalgia a little by having come full circle. There are people in their late teens and early twenties that will pick this up today and make it their own like my friends and I once did.


It doesn’t make me feel so old listening to it though. It makes me feel empowered, if anything. From the racing pulse of opening track ‘No Wolf Like The Present’ to the slightly more commercial ‘Pendulum in a Peasant Dress’, only the penultimate ‘Ghost-Tape No. 9’ and it’s sinister moodiness lets up for a few minutes. Yes, Inter Alia is a beating heart, a sneering antidote to the bullshit, loud, screeching guitars heralding that rock isn’t dead, it’s just moved to another planet (and thankfully come back to Earth for a while). ‘Brace yourself, my darling’, singer Cedric roars on just one standout track ‘Governed By Contagion’. Brace yourself indeed. I like to think that somewhere nearby a mammal of some description is rocking out. They should be, at least, because this is the most divine noise. Moo. Bark.

Anna C

Released May 5th 2017