Acrobatic Tenement

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Acrobatic Tenement
At the Drive-In - Acrobatic Tenement cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 18, 1997
RecordedLate July, 1996
StudioCommercial Soundworks Hollywood, CA
GenrePost-hardcore, emo
ProducerBlaze James, Doug Green
At the Drive-In chronology
¡Alfaro Vive, Carajo!
Acrobatic Tenement
El Gran Orgo
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [1]
Consequence of SoundC+ [2]
Drowned in Sound10/10 [3]

Acrobatic Tenement is the debut studio album by American post-hardcore band At the Drive-In, released on February 18, 1997, on Flipside.[5] The album, along with In/Casino/Out and Relationship of Command, was reissued by Fearless Records in 2004, and was re-released again in 2013.

Only one of the album's tracks made it to the 2005 compilation album, This Station Is Non-Operational, with "Initiation" appearing as a live BBC recording.

Background and recording[edit]

The album was initially released on August 18, 1996, exclusively on CD format through the Los Angeles independent record label/fanzine Flipside after a few of the label's staff members were impressed by the band's performance in a small Los Angeles club.[6] The record was recorded in Los Angeles for only $600 after concluding a U.S. tour.[3] The album has been noted for its lack of distortion, which is due to the fact that guitarist Jim Ward believed his recordings wouldn't be used for the final master.[7] Reflecting upon the aftermath of recording Acrobatic Tenement, vocalist Cedric Bixler stated in 2013: "Before [the album's release], the band had broken up. We did a U.S. tour and we decided to split up. I always needed Jim to be there, but he'd had a falling out with Omar. We'd made a bunch of dumb moves at the time — kicked the drummer [Ryan Sawyer] who was on the record out, and then the other guitar player [Adam Amparan] — but then Tony and Paul came and played. Omar switched to guitar at the time, because he played bass on that album, so when we played live, it was a lot different."[8]

Much of the album, including the track "Embroglio," was inspired by the life and suicide of Julio Venegas, a friend of the band.[9] Venegas later became the inspiration of The Mars Volta's 2003 album De-Loused in the Comatorium.

Track listing[edit]

1."Star Slight"1:18
5."Communication Drive-In"1:44
6."Skips on the Record"3:07
7."Paid Vacation Time"3:33
9."Blue Tag"3:17
10."Coating of Arms"2:46
11."Porfirio Diaz"2:58
Total length:32:20



  1. ^
  2. ^ Bray, Ryan. "At The Drive-In – Acrobatic Tenement [Reissue]". Consequence Of Sound. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
  3. ^ a b Tarry, Lucy. "Album Review: At The Drive-In Acrobatic Tenement". Drowned In Sound. Retrieved 2002-07-03.
  4. ^ Cohen, Ian. "Double Review of Acrobatic Tenement and Relationship Of Command". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2000-04-22. Retrieved 2018-10-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ DaRonco, Mike. "All Music Guide Biography". All Music Guide. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  7. ^ Cepeda, Eddie (2017-06-14). "At the Drive-In's 'El Gran Orgo' EP Captured a Band Struggling to Survive". Vice. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  8. ^ "Cedric Bixler-Zavala Talks At the Drive-In Reissues, His Real Mars Volta Role". April 24, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  9. ^ Diaconescu, Sorina. "Secrets Of The Sun". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2003-07-26.