Top 10 Albums of the 2000s

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26 Sep 2010, 8:20

Each week for the next 10 weeks I will include a review of one of my top 10 albums of the 2000s on this page. These are not in order of preference, merely alphabetical order, as I feel ordering them would not do justice to those lower down the list. The first one can be found below:

At the Drive-InRelationship of Command


This record is emotion in its purest form - the moment the rushing drums and harsh guitar make their presence felt on opening track 'Arcarsenal' signals the arrival of something special. Aggression and anguish resonates through Cedric Bixler-Zavala's voice and never looks like relenting. The guitar work of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is something quite brilliant, burying complex and intricate melodies beneath discordant and overdriven power chords. Iggy Pop makes a cameo appearance, singing backing vocals on one of the album's strongest tracks, 'Rolodex Propaganda', and appearing as the kidnapper in 'Enfilade'. Often ignored are the band's rhythm section, Paul Hinojos on bass and Tony Hajjar on drums, without whom the complex guitar interplay of Rodriguez-Lopez and Jim Ward would sound disorganised and perhaps cacophonous. The surrealist and fiercely emotive lyrics utilising the extensive vocabulary of Bixler-Zavala are one of the many factors that set 'Relationship of Command' apart from other post-hardcore records of the era - his Jeffrey Dahmer-referencing lyrics in 'Arcarsenal' recall the gruesome imagery of Dali and Bunuel's 'Un Chien Andalou'. Bixler-Zavala also ventures into the political, dealing with issues such as the Juarez murders on 'Invalid Litter Dept' and governmental hypocrisy in 'Sleepwalk Capsules'. But perhaps the best aspects of the record are the vicissitudes and shifts in dynamics; from the surging and powerful onslaughts of drums and guitar to the atmospheric breakdowns and contemplative moments. Truly a record unlike any other.

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