At the Drive-In

One Armed Scissor

Composed by At the Drive-In

Song Review by

"One Armed Scissor" is the standout track from Relationship of Command and possibly At the Drive-In's career highlight. The song is a charging, tempo-shifting beast of storming dynamic sounds and cathartic emotional release. Seemingly starting mid-song with a bold swoosh of pounding drums and punching guitar power, then keeping pace with a metronome of ticking drums, "One Armed Scissor" is arranged perfectly to showcase its grand chorus. Cedric Bixler moans, rushes through political passages, and sneers like an angry wolverine. Fractured guitar notes stab at the air, and drums race like dragsters. When the chorus and chief hook emerge, it's a killer moment. Each time it repeats, it's a shot in the arm. "Send transmission from the one armed scissor, cut away, cut away," screams Bixler like a general calling for his troops to advance and attack on an unseen enemy. An army of guitars and drums assaults and batters empty spaces around Bixler's glowering voice. It's difficult to imagine that At the Drive-In could have topped "One Armed Scissor" had they not broken up shortly after the album's release.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
One Armed Scissor 2000 Grand Royal 3:45
Relationship of Command 2000 Grand Royal / Virgin 4:19
This Station Is Non-Operational 2005 Fearless Records 3:45