The Top 50 Albums of the 2000s – Relationship of Command

Today I continue a series of posts dedicated to the best albums of the last decade, posting analysis of one album at a time.


40. At the Drive In – Relationship of Command

Admittedly, I didn’t really get At the Drive In upon first listen to Relationship of Command, their best and final album.  It wasn’t until some time after their breakup that I dusted it off and gave it another shot, and from then on it became a staple for my road trips and, even recently, my city commutes.  I blame my myopia on high school ignorance and misdirected expectations; I was yearning for a fix to my Rage Against the Machine obsession (who had recently called it quits), and first single “One Armed Scissor” seemed to suggest to me At the Drive In were apt to fill the void.

Obviously, that was unfair to the sheer punk this crew were offering the masses – where Rage gets their prowess from old-skool hip-hop, the aggression of At the Drive In can be found in the slicing choruses of “Arc Arsenal,” the tongue-in-cheek comedy of “Rolodex Propaganda,” and the undeniable infectiousness of my personal highlight, “Pattern Against User.”

As we can all see today, this was the El Paso group’s high point – the always-convoluted Mars Volta and the downright terrible Sparta have been poor alternatives to the focus that we discovered on Relationship of Command, and for that matter, At the Drive In as a whole.  While we all anticipate/dread the reunion at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2015 (where they will play Relationship in its entirety), we still have this album to keep us banging our head, maniacally shaking our oversized Omar-homage hairdos.

At the Drive In – Pattern Against User

At the Drive In – One Armed Scissor

At the Drive In – Enfilade

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