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At the Drive-In Set to Reunite

At the Drive-In
Fearless Records

One of the most aggressive and explosive bands to gain popularity through the mid-to-late nineties, El Paso post-hardcore outfit At the Drive-In were a herky-jerky thrill ride of angular riffs, plundering rhythms and cryptic lyrics. The interpersonal dynamcs between the band members was just as turbulent and in 2001 the group broke up following a year-long tour for their third album 2000′s ‘Relationship of Command.’

In the years that followed, the members badmouthed each other so badly in interviews it seemed like a reconciliation was all but impossible. Then, on Monday, Jan. 9, the group tweeted: “¡ ATTENTION ! To whom it may concern: AT THE DRIVE-IN will be breaking their 11 year silence THIS STATION IS …NOW…OPERATIONAL.”  The terminology was a wordplay on their 2005 compilation album ‘This Station is Non-Operational.’

After At the Drive-In broke up, frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez formed the progressive alt-rock band the Mars Volta, while multi-instrumentalists Jim Ward and Paul Hinojos formed the group Sparta with drummer Tony Hajjar. The Mars Volta released five challenging, multi-textured studio albums between 2003 and 2009, ‘De-Loused in the Comatorium,’ ‘Frances the Mute,’ ‘Amputechture,’ ‘The Bedlam in Goliath’ and Octahedron. Their yet-untitled sixth album has been finished since March 2011, but remains unreleased. Now, it looks like it may surface in March of this year.

Sparta put out three studio albums between 2002 and 2006, ‘Wiretap Scars,’ ‘Porcelain’ and ‘Threes.’ In 2005, Sparta co-founder Paul Hinojos joined the Mars Volta as their bassist, perhaps greasing the wheels for the reunion of At the Drive-In.

In a 2009 interview with Drowned in Sound, Bixler-Zavala said, “We’ve been making amends with a lot of the members and having some really good talks with them. I wouldn’t mind it [a reformation]. It might happen, we just have to iron out a lot of personal things. A lot of it we’ve dealt with already and I’ve apologized for a lot of things I’ve said and the way it ended… we’ll see what happens.”

Watch the At the Drive-In ‘One Armed Scissor’ Video

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