Relationship of Command

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Relationship of Command
Studio album by At the Drive-In
Released September 12, 2000 (2000-09-12)
Recorded Early 2000, Indigo Ranch Studios, Malibu, California
Genre Post-hardcore
Length 45:31
53:41 (2004 re-release)
Label Grand Royal
Fearless Records
Producer Ross Robinson
At the Drive-In chronology
Sunshine / At the Drive-In
(2000)
Relationship of Command
(2000)
This Station Is Non-Operational
(2005)
Singles from Relationship of Command
  1. "One Armed Scissor"
    Released: August 7, 2000
  2. "Rolodex Propaganda"
    Released: December 4, 2000
  3. "Invalid Litter Dept."
    Released: March 12, 2001

Relationship of Command is the third and final studio album by the post-hardcore band At the Drive-In, and was released in September 2000. The band reached mainstream success through the album, if only for a short time before their break-up in 2001.

The album combines a hardcore aggressive edge with a melodic drive and harmonious, emotive and surreal vocals and lyrics.[1] While the album continues in the alternative style of At the Drive-In's previous albums, Relationship of Command is seen as a more well-rounded album than its predecessors. Initially received positively by critics, the album is now seen not only as one of the most influential post-hardcore albums of the decade[2] but also as one of the most accomplished recent works in the wider rock spectrum.[3] Relationship of Command was voted 12th out of 50 in the Albums of the Decade by NME[4] and the 37th most influential album of all time by Kerrang![5]

Background[edit]

Relationship of Command was recorded over a seven-week period starting on January 17, 2000, following a tour supporting Rage Against the Machine. The album was recorded at the Indigo Ranch Studios, in Malibu, California, and was produced by Ross Robinson and mixed by Andy Wallace. Known for his unorthodox production methods, Robinson at one point took bass player Paul Hinojos for a drive in his SUV through the hills of Malibu to get his adrenaline going prior to recording. He also brought Iggy Pop to the studio for a guest appearance; Omar Rodriguez commented: "[Ross] had been talking to Iggy because they were gonna work together. I don’t know if they ever did, but they’d sort of been chatting, so Ross had passed him our previous records and he liked them. So, of course I brought up the idea, “Why not [have Iggy] come and do something on the album?” Ross mentioned it to Iggy, and he was completely open to it. He came down to the studio for a whole day in which he sang [on "Rolodex Propaganda"] and did the ransom note [on "Enfilade"]".[6]

The album's cover artwork (including the covers for the singles "One Armed Scissor," "Invalid Litter Dept." and "Rolodex Propaganda"), illustrated by Damon Locks, all revolve around imagery of the Trojan War, and the Trojan Horse in particular.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AbsolutePunk (97%)[7]
Allmusic 4/5 stars[8]
CMJ 5/5 stars[9]
Drowned in Sound (10/10)[10]
NME (9/10)[11]
Pitchfork Media 6.1/10 (2004)[12]
8.3/10 (2013)[13]
Robert Christgau A−[14]
Tiny Mix Tapes 5/5 stars[15]
SputnikMusic 5/5 stars[16]
Rock Hard (de) 8/10[17]

The album initially received generally positive reviews, with Metacritic giving the album an aggregate score of 77.[18] The album is now seen as one of the most influential rock albums of the decade, with it being ranked 47th in the 50 Greatest Albums of the 21st century in Kerrang!, number 83 on Spin magazine's 100 Greatest Albums 1985–2005,[19] 6th in State magazine's 100 albums of the decade,[20] 3rd in JustPressPlay's Top 100 Albums of the 2000s,[21] 52nd in Decibel magazine's Greatest 100 albums of the decade,[22] 117th in Uncut magazine's 150 Albums of the decade,[23] as well as being ranked at number 90 on MTV2's greatest albums ever list.[24] A retrospective BBC music review hailed the significance of Relationship of Command's uniqueness, calling the album "mesmerising" and a "statement of grand intent that could never be followed."[25]

In 2005, the album was ranked number 423 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[26] The album is also seen as an influential guitar album, being ranked number 94 in a Guitar World reader's poll of the 100 greatest guitar albums of all time. This list appeared in the October 2006 issue of Guitar World.[27]

Legacy[edit]

Following the release of the album, At the Drive-In gained brief mainstream critical and commercial success, with the album being their only album to reach the Billboard 200, and also appearing in critics' end-of-year lists such as the Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone, as well as making appearances on shows such as Late Night with Conan O'Brien and the Late Show with David Letterman. However despite this success, the band went on an indefinite hiatus in 2001, with the members splitting to form The Mars Volta and Sparta.

In an interview with Alternative Press in September 2010 (in an article praising the album 10 years later) when asked "What's your least favorite thing about the album?" Rodriguez replied: "In a heartbeat I could tell you, one of my only regrets out of everything I've ever done is the way that record was mixed. People think that was a raw and energetic record, but what they're hearing is nothing compared to what it truly was before it was glossed over and sent through the mixing mill that was Andy Wallace, who is a wonderful person and a very talented mixing engineer and has done great albums – I'm not trying to offend him....and I understand he had the pressure of the label and all the people who had dreams of it being this grandiose thing, and being played on the radio, which it was, (but) that record is ruined by the mix. I just find it the most passive, plastic....It's the one record I still to this day cannot listen to."[6] The board mix of the album was released by the band in 2013 on their 21st Chapter Records label.[28]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by At the Drive-In[8]

No. Title Length
1. "Arcarsenal"   2:55
2. "Pattern Against User"   3:17
3. "One Armed Scissor"   4:19
4. "Sleepwalk Capsules"   3:27
5. "Invalid Litter Dept."   6:05
6. "Mannequin Republic"   3:02
7. "Enfilade"   5:01
8. "Rolodex Propaganda"   2:55
9. "Quarantined"   5:24
10. "Cosmonaut"   3:23
11. "Non-Zero Possibility"   5:36

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Year Country Position
2000 UK Albums Chart 33[29]
2000 Billboard 200 (U.S.) 116[30]
2000 Billboard Heatseekers (U.S) 1[30]
2000 Australian Albums Chart 25[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Butler, Blake (September 12, 2000). "Relationship of Command [Japan Bonus Tracks] – At the Drive-In". AllMusic. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  2. ^ "At the Drive-In – Relationship of Command – Album Review". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Music - Review of At the Drive-In - Relationship of Command". BBC. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  4. ^ NME The Story Of The Decade 10 Years In Music 21 November 2009
  5. ^ "Rocklist.net...Kerrang! Lists Page 1". Google. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "The Class of 2000: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez on At The Drive-In’s "Relationship Of Command"". Alternative Press. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "AbsolutePunk Review". Absolutepunk.net. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Relationship of Command at AllMusic
  9. ^ CMJ Review[dead link]
  10. ^ Drowned in Sound Review[dead link]
  11. ^ "NME Review". NME. UK. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  12. ^ Pitchfork Media Review (2004)
  13. ^ Pitchfork Media Review (2013)
  14. ^ "Robert Christgau Review". Robertchristgau.com. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  15. ^ Tiny Mix Tapes Review[dead link]
  16. ^ SputnikMusic Review
  17. ^ Schleutermann, Marcus. "Rock Hard review". issue 163. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  18. ^ "Relationship Of Command Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  19. ^ "100 Greatest Albums, 1985–2005". SPIN.com. June 20, 2005. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  20. ^ [1][dead link]
  21. ^ "Fifty Years of Great Music: The Top 100 Albums of the 2000s". Justpressplay.net. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  22. ^ [2][dead link]
  23. ^ "Uncut's 150 Albums of the Decade! – Uncut.co.uk". Google. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  24. ^ "MTV TWO Greatest Albums Ever | MTV UK". Mtv.co.uk. March 27, 2011. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Music – Review of At the Drive-In – Relationship of Command". BBC. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  26. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 41. ISBN 3-89880-517-4. 
  27. ^ "BROADCAST NEWS Discussion". Chud.com. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  28. ^ Appleford, Steve. "Q&A: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez on Bosnian Rainbows and At the Drive-In's Dramatic Reunion". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  29. ^ "At The Drive In | Artist". Official Charts. September 30, 2000. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  30. ^ a b Relationship of Command - At the Drive-In
  31. ^ Steffen Hung. "At The Drive-In – Relationship Of Command". swisscharts.com. Retrieved October 17, 2011.