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YMMV / At the Drive-In

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  • Author's Saving Throw: Not for the band themselves, but Ross Robinson's production of Relationship of Command is sometimes interpreted as an example of this trope in relation to his production work for a rather vast number of widely disliked Nu Metal bands. After this he also worked with acts like Glassjaw, The Blood Brothers, and The Cure, though he has also produced for some of the aforementioned Nu Metal bands again since then.
  • Broken Base: Ask any ATDI fan which is better, The Mars Volta or Sparta. Go on. Watch the fandom have a collective shitfit.
    • Fans are split on whether or not the band's reunion should count as a "reunion" as Jim Ward isn't in the band anymore.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Acrobatic Tenement seems to be becoming one in modern days - it's not too hard to find fans who appreciate the album's energy and earnestness.
  • Epic Riff: "One Armed Scissor" again.
  • Even Better Sequel: In/Casino/Out is a fantastic record that represented a quantum leap for the band's sound. However, its followup, Relationship of Command, is frequently seen as perhaps the best post-hardcore record of all time, as well as one of the greatest albums of the 2000s.
    • Vaya is almost always considered better than In/Casino/Out too, though not as good as Relationship of Command.
  • Genius Bonus: Probably bordering on Viewers Are Geniuses in many cases. The inverted Karl Marx quote in "Porfirio Díaz"; the namesake of "Porfirio Díaz"; the namesakes of El gran Orgo, ¡Alfaro vive, carajo!, "Chanbara", "Napoleon Solo", etc. - the band is quite fond of throwing obscure or at least semi-obscure references into their lyrics and song/album titles.
  • Growing the Beard: In/Casino/Out laid the groundwork for what the band would later become. The followup EP, titled Vaya, continued this trend by hinting at the energy and diversity that the band would later harness on Relationship of Command.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Given some of the stranger images that Cedric conjured up, they fell into it from time to time. The most infamous examples are probably "Arcarsenal", "Enfilade", and "Quarantined".
    • There are a few examples that aren't Word Salad Lyrics-based as well, most notably "Invalid Litter Dept.", which, despite its rather cheery musical accompaniment, describes an absolutely terrifying string of hundreds of rapes and murders of women in Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico since 1993, and also condemns the Mexican government for its inaction.
  • Signature Song: "One Armed Scissor" was the track that gave them the most exposure.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Despite still having some Word Salad Lyrics, “198d”, “Invalid Litter Dept” and “Incurably Innocent” all count.
  • Tear Jerker: "Napoleon Solo", "Hourglass", "198d", "Invalid Litter Dept", and "Non-Zero Possibility" all stand out.
    • "198d" is probably the standout example here; it's about Tony Hajjar's grandmother, who was buried in a mass grave in Lebanon.
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    • Similarly, "Napoleon Solo" is dedicated to two friends of the band named Laura Beard and Sarah Reiser. They were also former bandmates of lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala. They died in a car crash at the age of 17 and the song was written in their memory.

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