For At the Drive-In, turbulence has always been the norm. After their “hiatus” in 2001, the band split into two factions: indie-rock outfit Sparta and experimental prog-rockers the Mars Volta. The past couple years have been especially nuts: Setting aside a decade of interview squabbling and sonic disconnect, the beloved post-hardcore band reunited for a brief 2012 tour, but nothing further than that. That hasn’t stopped their fans from doing up their own tributes to the band. Here’s some of the more “interesting” takes that have popped up on YouTube over the years.
1. “Arcarsenal” Electric Guitar Cover
Covering “Arcarsenal,” the throat-punching opener from Relationship of Command, this very emo guitarist leaves it all on the floor. He gets a little ahead of the beat around the one-minute mark — but as Jack Black once said, “rock and roll ain’t about doing things perfect.”
2. “Initiation” Acoustic Cover
Most At the Drive-In songs don’t work well as stripped-down, bedroom-hangout acoustic covers. “Initiation” is no exception. But “almightyseancore” really puts his heart on his display, crooning somewhere near the right key, chillaxing the edge of his mattress. Whatever you may say about his singin’ skills, you gotta respect the guy’s panache. Just check out that caption: “I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else cover this on here yet, so let me be the first to suck at it.”
3. “Quarantined” Bass Cover
Here Christopher Reynaert stares directly into the camera for the entirety of his “Quarantined” bass cover, like a hunter sizing up his prey. Kudos for the all-time loneliest post-hardcore bounce at 1:45.
4. “Hourglass” Unplugged Electric Guitar Cover
It’s not like “stripesthebird” is striving for perfection — in the caption, he admits that this impromptu “Hourglass” cover came from “just trying to avoid doing (his) history project.” Still, this performance is a masterclass in mood. When he stares into the camera at 1:20 with that seductive “Hey ladies” glare, it’s an awkwardly sweet moment of intimacy.
5. “Initiation” Vocal Cover
Blending interpretive-punk dance with stoned moaning, “Physicsdummy” tackles this Acrobatic Tenement highlight with the flair of a natural showman. Donning a grossly oversized white undershirt, he grooves his way into the viral video history books, playing to an audience of neatly-arranged action figures. Check out the 1:38 mark, in which he gives new meaning to the term “high note.”