I have a pretty distinct memory that revolves around At the Drive-In’s 1998 sophomore release, In/Casino/Out.
My family is really, really religious. Which is really, really not fun sometimes.
I went to two impossibly tiny Christian high schools in rural Florida. Designed to bring sheep into the fold, proselytizing had the opposite effect on me. I just listened to a bunch of punk rock instead.
ATDI is a band I couldn’t stop listening to freshman year of high school. This transpired during the death wheeze era of mail order, but I was still getting their hoodies and t-shirts through some magazine that also sold Black Flag coozies. Kind of a wash.
One time I even sent six $1 bills in the mail to try to get a copy of the band’s ¡Alfare Vivo, Carajo! EP, but it never came because I put 6 $1 bills in the mail.
Anyway, I was riding in a truck with my uncle (a deacon at a church), listening to “Chanbara,” the second track on the album. In it, Cedric Bixler-Zavala screams: “Tour de force / de facto / Ayacucho! / Ayacucho!” It’s mostly gibberish, but I’m getting to that.
My religious uncle was convinced Cedric was saying “I hate you God.” Not ‘Ayacucho.’
He wasn’t. I don’t speak Spanish, but if I’m not mistaken, Ayacucho is a region in Peru.
Which is ironic because my uncle married a Peruvian woman. Cool. Life is so full circle. Bye.
From In/Casino/Out, this is “Chanbara” –
Standout tracks: “Alpha Centauri” and “Hourglass”
Weakest track: Unpopular opinion time? “Napoleon Solo”
The truth is: much of their music hasn’t held up for me over time. I don’t know if it’s just because I listened to it so much then or what. I can’t stomach this album anymore. It meant so much to me then.
RIYL: Emocore, post-hardcore, early emo.