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Saturday, December 31, 2011

"One Armed Scissor"

At the Drive-In - One Armed Scissor (2000)

A band at the height of their fame, shaking apart due to creative differences, records one more album.

The lyrics are about a space station, which is of course falling apart; when has a space station ever appeared and been in good working order by the end of the media? In this case, the station is supposed to represent the bands troubles. I would like to eventually hear an orchestration of this song used as the theme to a science fiction film about a doomed space station. The singer uses a number of different styles, including spoken word in the intro, shouting in the chorus, and a strained sung vocal during the verses.

Hardcore punk is an offshoot of punk that focused on speed, loud vocals and loud bass. That sort of describes the choruses. But At the Drive-In was a Post-hardcore band. Post-hardcore starts at the same train station but is willing to incorporate other singing styles, and has a more open mindset on quieter introspective themes and styles. The verses are still intense, but the drums really tone things down and while the bass keeps driving, the guitars are adding atmospheric sounds rather than doubling the bass as in the chorus.

About six months after the release of the album, with this song as lead single, the band announced they were breaking up. The lead singer and one of the guitarists said that they wanted to do more creative progressive stuff; they formed The Mars Volta. The other guitarist, bassist and drummer started the Post-hardcore band Sparta. The bassist later left Sparta and joined the Mars Volta as a second guitarist.

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