Acrobatic Tenement

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Acrobatic Tenement
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 18, 1996
RecordedJuly 1996
StudioCommercial Soundworks (Hollywood)
GenrePost-hardcore, emo
ProducerBlaze James, Doug Green
At the Drive-In chronology
¡Alfaro Vive, Carajo!
Acrobatic Tenement
El Gran Orgo
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic [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 August 18, 1996, on Flipside.[5] The album was reissued by Fearless Records in 2004, along with the band's subsequent albums In/Casino/Out and Relationship of Command, and was re-released again in 2013.

Only one track from Acrobatic Tenement appeared on the band's 2005 retrospective compilation album This Station Is Non-Operational, with "Initiation" appearing as a live BBC recording.

Background and recording[edit]

Acrobatic Tenement was initially released on August 18, 1996, exclusively on compact disc through the Los Angeles–based independent record label/fanzine Flipside, after some of its editors saw the band perform in Los Angeles.[6] The record was recorded at Commercial Soundworks in Hollywood for only $600 (equivalent to $1,166 in 2023) after the band concluded a tour of the United States.[3] The album has been noted for its lack of guitar distortion, due to guitarist Jim Ward believing that his distortion-free recorded parts would not be used for the final master.[7]

Reflecting upon the aftermath of recording Acrobatic Tenement, frontman Cedric Bixler recalled 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 [Rodríguez-Lopez]. 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 [Hajjar] and Paul [Hinojos] 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, particularly the track "Ebroglio," was inspired by the life and suicide of Julio Venegas, a friend of the band. Venegas' death later inspired the concept album storyline of De-Loused in the Comatorium, the debut album by Bixler and Rodríguez' subsequent project The Mars Volta.[9]

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 (7 March 2013). "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. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2002-07-03.
  4. ^ Cohen, Ian. "Double Review of Acrobatic Tenement and Relationship Of Command". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
  5. ^ "At the Drive-in". Archived from the original on 2000-04-22. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  6. ^ DaRonco, Mike. "All Music Guide Biography". All Music Guide. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  7. ^ Cepeda, Eddie (2017-06-14) (14 June 2017). "At the Drive-In's 'El Gran Orgo' EP Captured a Band Struggling to Survive". Vice. Retrieved 2017-10-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  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 (26 June 2003). "Secrets Of The Sun". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2003-07-26.