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If there’s any doubt as to how beholden Rolling Stone magazine is to the record industry (or, for that matter, Hollywood), all one has to do is take a look at their Best Album list for 2000 and note that there isn’t an indie release in the whole batch. What’s more, the best new band is At the Drive-In, which is sort of like Kazuhiro Sasaki and Hideo Nomo winning rookie of the year honors in the United States despite the fact that both had already pitched many seasons in Japan. You ain’t nothin’ till you play for the Major Leagues.

But “new” can be a relative term. Though ATDI put out three albums and some EPs before garnering raves with their recent Virgin/Grand Royal release, “Relationship of Command,” the five-piece from “Hell Paso,” Texas, is definitely not the band they were when they started out in 1994, and not just in terms of quality. In interviews, the members dismiss their early, self-released work as being worthless. The group didn’t hit its creative stride until 1998 with the startling “In/Casino/Out,” at a time when they were barely a force to be reckoned with on the Southwest U.S. club circuit, often playing to empty houses.

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