It’s peculiar at how much At the Drive-In’s last album influenced so many bands ranging from Taking Back Sunday to Paramore. Relationship of Command is a monster effort coming after Refused’s The Shape of Punk to Come and Rage Against the Machine’s The Battle of Los Angeles. It’s remarkable that the album stood out so much for being a relatively new band in the mainstream. Granted, the term “mainstream” is used loosely here because, well, does your mom remember At the Drive-In? No.
It was only the band’s third album and it hit hard enough for the band to play on Conan O’Brien and David Letterman. The incredible loud sound the band gave off and still got air-play is unfathomable in today’s world. Without much Internet promotion, Relationship of Command was spread all through word of mouth and stressful touring of the band. Just check out a video of them playing “Arcarsenal” live at Big Day Out. At the Drive-In was this band that got heard by so many simply because of their sound and their stage presence. It’s insanity watching them live and thinking “Wait, THIS got onto the Billboard charts?!”
Throughout Relationship of Command is this constant loud and raw sound that is unheard in any other album ten years later. The guitar riffs are a hybrid of dancey and hardcore, something that was attempted by so many bands in the hardcore scene five years later. At the Drive-In was ahead of their time with this album. If it were to come out today it’d be just as big or bigger.