Combining emotional melodies and an upbeat rhythm moving at an unpredictable rate, At the Drive-In definitely stuck out in their hometown El Paso, TX. Formed in early 1994, the group debuted soon after with their first EP, Hell Paso, followed by a brief tour across the Lone Star state. With a lineup secured around Cedric Bixler (vocals), Omar Rodriguez and Jim Ward (guitar), Paul Hinojos (bass) and Tony Hajjar (drums), At the Drive-In continued on with a second EP (Alfaro Vive, Carajo!) and toured mostly empty houses and clubs across the western United States. A small gig in Los Angeles with an audience consisting of only nine people ??? somehow got the attention of Flipside Records, who released the band’s first full-length Acrobatic Tenement in 1996. With constant energy and a stubborn enthusiasm to continue, At the Drive-In began to develop an audience, helped out by constant touring and word-of-mouth hype. Their 1997 follow-up EP El Gran Orgo had more of a melodic bite, but their musical depth and originality still remained.
In Casino Out followed in 1998, and 2000 saw the release of Relationship of Command. Then in 2001 the band went on indefinite hiatus. Bixler and Rodriguez formed the Mars Volta, while Ward, Hajjar, and Hinojos moved on to Sparta. By May 2005 that hiatus looked pretty permanent, with both Sparta and the Volta’s careers thriving and At the Drive-In issuing a retrospective compilation. This Station is Non-Operational, released through Fearless domestically, included hits, rarities, cover songs (Smiths, Pink Floyd), and DVD content.