Release Date: Aug 5, 2008
Record label: Majordomo
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Review by Travis Woods.
Are the Airborne Toxic Event chancers or artists? On the one hand, the way they occupy a musical point equidistant from Arcade Fire, the Killers and the Strokes suggests a talent for cynical triangulation that would do a powerseeking politician proud. On the other, their way with a melody and an arrangement is undeniable. The LA sextet's debut album is packed with widescreen rock of very high quality – does it matter if every single element of it has been heard elsewhere? The debts are greatest in the most memorable songs: current single Sometime Around Midnight could have fitted comfortably on to Arcade Fire's Neon Bible.
For a band who've yet to release their first long player in the UK, The Airborne Toxic Event have already stirred up a hornet's nest on both sides of the Atlantic. Due in no small part to a somewhat harsh review on Pitchfork some six months previous (and the band's subsequent written rebuttal), those sat on the fence beforehand quickly forming two orderly queues on both sides of it to either defend the band's honour vehemently or stick the boot in vigorously like rabid foxes on the prowl. But let's not dwell too much on something as subjective as one man's opinion; we'd much prefer to concentrate on the origins of The Airborne Toxic Event and in particular this collection of songs, because make no mistake about it, every single one tells its own story.
This L.A. band’s debut has been gaining momentum since its release last year, fueled largely by the vivid desperation of first single ”Sometime Around Midnight.” If that song’s success is just bringing TATE to your attention, you’ll find an occasionally derivative album that’s enthralled with guitar noise, overflowing with lit-mag lyrics, and unafraid to be ugly. It’s also sewn through with an endearing passion that screams of potential.