At The Drive-In had quite the year in 2017. The post-hardcore legends not only released their fourth studio album, in•ter a•li•a after an excruciating seventeen year wait, but also played an abundance of headline dates across the globe, including a number of sets supporting Royal Blood. While in•ter a•li•a did receive a fair amount of criticism, ATDI didn’t stop, releasing an EP titled Diamante as part of Record Store Day 2017 with a limited vinyl release. It was later streamed digitally in full in January this year ahead of their UK tour.
Produced by ATDI’s guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López, 3-track Diamante sadly appears to be an EP compiled of the messy leftovers which didn’t quite make the cut for the album. Kicking off with the aimless ramblings of ‘Amid Ethics’, Diamante is an irritable listen from the start with low buzzing guitar and Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s uninspiring warbles.
Rhythmically intricate ‘Despondent At High Noon’ is plonked in the middle of the EP and and does its best to redeem with its chunky bassline and brighter, psychedelic-esque guitar work. This track is certainly bouncier, but while the repeated “if only, if only” line does its best to be catchy, it, if anything, makes the song drag and seem bored of the sound of itself.
Finally, ‘Point Of Demarkation’ showcases Bixler-Zavala’s cleaner vocal work, which again feels tired and strained. However, this track does offer some interesting elements such as ominous background piano flavours and disjointed drums, but the appeal of this wears off as the song trundles past the four minute mark.
Diamante isn’t completely awful, but it’s certainly not great. While it does not even attempt to rival their former glories, this strange array of songs do, however, prove that there are more creative ideas to be played with in the future legacy of At The Drive-In.
Diamante is out now on Rise Records.