El Paso extroverts At the Drive In have just released “Governed By Contagions,” their first new song for 16 years. In exchange for your email address, it’s currently available as a free download from the band’s website. A lyric video was also uploaded to Rise Records’ YouTube channel, which suggests At the Drive In are the latest band to jump on the ever-expanding Rise Records/BMG ship.
It’s strange – and quite striking – how much the song sounds like At the Drive In. It’s as if frontmen Cedric Bixler and Omar Rodríguez have At the Drive In personas, who are much more coherent and post-hardcore orientated than their avant garde, off-the-rails The Mars Volta alter egos. Don’t get me wrong, the lyrics are way out there and the song buzzes with life and intensity, but sonically, it makes sense. It also reeks of At the Drive In’s seminal 2000 album Relationship of Command.
Minus Sparta’s Jim Ward – who left At the Drive In, again, days before their March world tour – the band’s lineup sounds pretty legit, featuring four (out of five) members who have been there since 1996. Here’s a question, though; whatever happened to Bixler and Rodríguez’s (and Flea’s?) band Antemasque’s second album Saddle on the Atom Bomb, featuring Travis Barker on drums???