Relationship of Command Review

Relationship of Command is an album by a band called At the Drive-In. Their music isn’t the kind of thing I would normally come across, but Dalfino Madrigal Keyte asked me to review this album on here and so that is what today’s entry is. I haven’t reviewed an album before, but what I shall do is give my thoughts on each song individually.

1. Arcarsenal
This is a short, but very loud and intense piece of music which is sung in a shouty voice. It’s not bad, but, I don’t think it quite has the emotional engagement to make it particularly noteworthy. Rating: 6/10

2. Pattern Against User
This track is a little calmer than the last, and I think the instrumental side of it was very good. Sadly though, I didn’t think that the shouty voiced matched with this piece quite as well, and brought the quality of the track down a little. Still, just a touch above the first track. Rating: 7/10

3. One Armed Scissor
I think this song has something that the other two don’t; it’s quite catchy and you begin to remember the tune as it’s going along. I liked that. It has a very weird ending though, and while I did very much like this when I listened to it just now for the first time, I can imagine that being annoying if you’re just listening to several songs on your iPod or something like that. Rating: 7.5/10

4. Sleepwalk Capsules
While the other songs did all have a loud shouty voice, it was always at least slightly comprehensible. This time I could barely understand it, and this track was, for me, just an angry voice with loud music so I didn’t particularly enjoy it. Rating: 3/10

5. Invalid Litter Dept.
Instrumentally, this one is quite fine, it was an easy listen. But the lyrics for this song are very strange and morbid (‘dancing on the corpse’s ashes’) and while this isn’t always an issue with songs I felt that it was in this case as I kept wondering what on Earth the singer was talking about. Still, it’s probably best to ignore the lyrics while listening to this song and you’ll still probably enjoy it. Rating: 7.5/10

6. Mannequin Republic
I found this song to be rather generic. I really can’t think of anything else to say. Rating: 5/10

7. Enfilade
The opening to this song is very unusual and seems to be a bit of a homage to the Saw series of films. On the whole it was a rather atypical sounding piece of music, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I did, in fact, find it to be quite a curious listen. Rating: 7/10

8. Rolodex Propaganda
Nothing particularly special or enjoyable about this one. Rating: 4/10

9. Quarantined
This song features the lovely sound of a rainy storm, which is very nice, but sadly it ends quite close to the start. I must admit, the lead singer’s voice isn’t that appealing to me; there’s a fair bit of music before the lyrics start and I was a little disappointed when I realised there was no chance of it being an instrumental piece. A bit of an odd ending too. Rating: 7/10

10. Cosmonaut
This was another song which was just pretty generic and pretty forgettable. Rating: 5/10

11. Non-Zero Possibility
Finally, some variation! Even the weirder songs before this one sounded kind of samey, but this song is quite distinguishable from the rest. This album’s main problem is a lack of variety; it’s pretty much the same until this one, which is very different and very nice. Definitely the best on the album. Rating: 8.5/10

12. Extracurricular
A step down after the last song, but it’s not bad, especially when compared to some of the other tracks on this CD. There’s a certain despairing quality to this song which puts it just above most of the rest. Rating 7.6/10

13. Catacombs
Sadly the ending of this is nothing spectacular. It ends with a blip, rather than a bang, and the very ending has some very weird sounds. Rating: 6/10

In conclusion, it was alright. The kind of music that could be playing quietly in the background of a shop and I wouldn’t mind, but not really anything I’d choose to listen to and certainly not anything I’d pay for. The biggest flaws, for me, were the musician’s singing voice and the lack of variety. Average rating: 6.2/10

(The whole album is available for free here.)

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