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This or the Apocalypse

What happens when young metalcore troupe This or The Apocalypse cover seminal post-hardcore outfit At the Drive-In? Raging IMN buttmadness or unexpected success? As it turns out, a little of both.

At The Drive-In were kind of the unwilling progenitors of screamo-core the same way Faith No More were the unwilling progenitors of Nu Metal the same way Meshuggah were the unwilling progenitors of djent; under-appreciated in their heyday, they were brilliant musicians far ahead of their time who sparked an entire movement many years later that grew to be loathed. Listen to the genius of At the Drive In’s Relationship of Command and it’s not that hard to make the jump to horrible bands like Motionless in White.

This or the Apocalypse certainly aren’t as bad as the latter (despite their egregious use/overuse of AutoLabonte and lulzy choreographed stage moves) and neither is their cover of ATDI’s “Invalid Litter Department,” but their decision to cover the latter underscores my above point. The musical side of TOTA’s cover is a welcome, fresh take on the classic, a “what if ATDI were metal and had cleaner production?” campfire argument fulfilled, and it’s totally working for me. Unfortunately the vocals just don’t do it, especially up against Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s raw, barely-in-key, high-pitched wail. Dude can never, ever, ever by replicated. Fortunately the below is a fan-made video so there are none of TOTA’s patented dance moves to lampoon.

Your thoughts?

Dead Years comes out tomorrow, and “Invalid Litter Department” appears as a bonus track on the iTunes deluxe edition. Pre-order here.


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