CD Review: The Airborne Toxic Event — The Airborne Toxic Event

AirborneToxicEvent The Airborne Toxic Event
The Airborne Toxic Event

By Eileen Tilson

When a band from Los Angeles comes along with a name
like The Airborne Toxic Event, it makes sense to assume they are probably some
dirty punk band, a product of their environment, but you would be wrong. Instead
TATE, presents themselves as a society of intellectuals whose story is fueled by
tragedy. In the span of a week, novelist Mikkel Jollett’s mom was diagnosed with
cancer, he began suffering from alopecia and vitilgo, and he split with his long
term girlfriend, driving Jollett to turn his stories into songs.

The band’s rise occurred at a pace usually reserved
for British flavors-of-the-month. Blogsphere buzz, regularly-attended shows,
heavy rotation on L.A.’s legendary KROQ radio, and an appearance on Last Call
with Carson Daly
have all been theirs, all before they even released their

As with The Strokes or The Arctic Monkeys, on paper
the Airborne Toxic Event are a band you’d love to hate. The music falls into the
same genre of every other trendy indie band that’s hit it big recently.  You
would love to be able to dismiss The Airborne Toxic Event as just another
wannabe post-punk band, but you just can’t. They are obviously heavily
influenced by the Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse, and although after hearing the
opening track “Wishing Well” you think you are in for an intricate rock album,
the rest of the album is pretty on par with every other indie band.

Though it’ll hardly change the face of music, this
is a polished, highly enjoyable record. That’s most evident on “Sometime Around
Midnight,” the track that got the band noticed in the first place, Jollett’s
tale of a late-night run-in with an ex-girlfriend.

Like a lot of debuts, The Airborne Toxic
is the sound of a band that’s not exactly sure what it wants to sound
like, trying on different styles and approaches for size. Try dismissing the
band, though, and you may just end up putting them in rotation in spite of


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