By David Berry
Note: This article was originally published on amusicblogyea.com in April 2013, in advance of the release of Such Hot Blood, The Airborne Toxic Event’s third album. It is reprinted by permission of the author.
Whilst searching through the impressive list of articles the genius AMBY team have produced over the past six months, I was a little taken aback at the sheer quantity of quality writing that has emerged. I was dismayed to notice that so many of the bands I had been looking forward to writing about had been covered, but then relieved to note that the respective authors had done a far better job than I ever could. I was however, a little surprised that nobody had introduced you to The Airborne Toxic Event.
Whilst I am unsure as to why they have escaped the gaze of my AMBY colleagues, I’m here to inform you as to why you need this band in your life, and then explain why they will probably be your favorite band in a short while. The band consists of Mikel Jollett, Steven Chen, Noah Harmon, Daren Taylor, and Anna Bulbrook, and have so far produced two well-received albums and are due to release their third at the end of the month. I was introduced to the band upon the release of their introductory and self-titled album in 2009. I wasn’t introduced particularly well, I remember a young drunken girl shouting their lyrics at me. I suppose really, that isn’t a bad way to be introduced at all. Regardless, I went home and searched up those lyrics, and discovered my new favorite band.
If you know someone who is in a band, or who has discovered fame through music, I’m sure they can tell you of the constant struggle to achieve fame, and remain true to their own roots. It seems most musicians find themselves caught up in trying to make music that they want to, whilst not appearing exclusive or niche. Thankfully, The Airborne Toxic Event won’t have to hold such discussions. The nature of their music is positively attractive, without ever deliberately trying to be. They’re known for simply experimenting with their sound, and their music, and the results are continually breathtaking.
Within those two albums, the band have produced music which explores melodic rock harmonizing with orchestral symphonies and pausing along the way for an old fashioned acoustic set. Somehow, The Airborne Toxic Event manage to seamlessly interweave this mad-concoction of music in such a way that not one song seems out of place from the last.
Whilst taking the listener on such a scenic route of their music, one cannot help but admire the journey, regardless of your preference.
For myself, and fans alike, each album should be considered as such. As you climb aboard the trip that is The Airborne Toxic Event, you may at times question where the band is taking you, but you won’t ever think to get off. The raw expression of Jollett, complimented by the innocent backing vocals from Bulbrook keep you rooted, whilst the catchy guitar riffs and infectious drumming patterns navigate the twists and turns.
On April 30th, The Airborne Toxic Event will release their third album Such Hot Blood. If the past six or seven years are anything to go by, it will be a success commercially and critically. Journalists, fans, and myself will be caught up in their new sound, which is becoming increasingly difficult to label for fear of simply missing something out. It would be entirely fair to expect the band to develop their sound further, at which point I believe I will simply give up attempting to categorize them.
Whilst I understand that a habit has been made of introducing you to up and coming, unsigned, smaller artists, I find it hard to comprehend that you won’t appreciate giving The Airborne Toxic Event a listen. At the very worst, you will recognise them the next time you see them on The Tonight Show, David Letterman, or Conan O’Brien. No doubt you will remember them, as I did that night when lyrics from their song “Happiness Is Overrated” were being drunkenly yelled at me.