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The Airborne Toxic Event, All at Once
Island Record, April 26

04/21/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Pitchfork disliked this L.A. bunch before, so they’ve got to be hating hard on the band’s newfound refried-radio-pop-ness, confines within which this LP has worked some minor miracles. I’d check, but I’ve mostly sworn off Pitchfork and their tendency to take 5,000 precious words to relay such basic information as “rudimentary Strokes ripoff” when they’re not twisting themselves into pretzels interrogating bling samples for content. Maybe ATE ripped off Arcade Fire and whatnot here and there, who hasn’t, but here they’ve reinvented themselves as a cultural vacuum cleaner bag, touching on Bruce, Neil Diamond, Lords of the New Church, Gavin Rossdale, U2, Goo Goo Dolls, Big Country, and Simple Minds, almost everyone who’s ever “mattered” while wafting a somewhat dark edge — if Cold War Kids had been an ’80s band that dug Joy Division, this could’ve easily come of it. These guys really could become the next Goo Goos, come to think of it — neither a live guest shoot on the Today show nor a danger-quirk-indie-movie montage spot would seem out of place.A

—Eric W. Saeger
 






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