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Rock - Released May 22, 2020 | Rounder

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 20, 2015 | Epic

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Seizing upon their switch from Island to Epic -- a shift in major-label affiliation that may not matter to those who don't read the fine print -- the Airborne Toxic Event use their new home as an excuse to let the heavy cloud surrounding them dissipate somewhat. Previously enamored with all matter of arty post-punk architecture, they haven't quite shaken their inclination toward frostbitten guitars or slow-rolling, synthesized fog, but there's a deftness to ATE's execution on Dope Machines that was absent on their three previous albums. They are still drawn toward the murk, closing the record with a pair of numbers that recall the roiling 2013 set Such Hot Blood, but they're not averse to actual, palpable pop hooks, the kind that have a tint of trashiness to them. Wisely, Dope Machines is front loaded with these songs -- the shimmering sexiness of the glam/new wave hybrid "One Time Thing," the neon Springsteen rush of "California" -- whose sound trumps lyrics of "cheap-ass wine" and "a face on a Tumblr." At these moments, Airborne Toxic Event seems to be channeling a little of the shamelessness of the Killers, but ATE are too controlled to get truly silly, which sometimes works to their benefit on Dope Machines. They bring in just enough flair and melodic swagger to loosen up their tight control and the result is a bigger, brighter, better record that distills their post-punk obsessions to something sweeter and sometimes addictive. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

While most bands usually wait until they have a few albums under their belt, the Airborne Toxic Event pulled the trigger early with All I Ever Wanted: Live from Walt Disney Hall. Recorded live with the Calder Quartet, the album takes the band's friendly, radio-ready pop to new levels, with the strings adding a grandness to the arrangements that isn’t present on their self-titled debut. While it’s no surprise that the live album contains almost all of their debut album (excluding "Papillon"), Jollett and company fill out the live set with some interesting covers. ATE a nod to some of their influences with string-heavy renditions of Q Lazzarus’ “Goodbye Horses,” the Magnetic Fields’ “The Book of Love” and the Ramones’ “Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio?” With a set of quality covers and new arrangements of the band's (relatively) old songs, All I Ever Wanted is sure to find a welcome audience with fans. © Gregory Heaney /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 24, 2015 | Epic

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2009 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2011 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Leaping from an indie to a major for their sophomore effort 2011’s All at Once, Airborne Toxic Event takes advantage of being in the big leagues, getting the full effect of hiring a name producer in Dave Sardy. Together, Sardy and ATE clean and streamline the group’s stylishly romantic, affectedly literary, neo-alt-rock, toning down the pretension, ratcheting up the skyscraping atmosphere, and honing the hooks. It’s a record made for the night, but not darkened corners; it’s smeared with streaks of neon, faded stars, and omnipresent street lights, all conjuring the affected glamour of a night that never ends. ATE doesn’t shy away from their debts to the Killers and the Strokes, they brandish their influences so brazenly the echoes reverberate upon themselves and turn into something not quite their own but not quite recycled: it’s insistent mood pop designed for its moment, getting enough momentum from its bounce and melody to be something of a pleasure. Whether it’s a guilty one or not depends entirely upon the audience. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2013 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

The Secret is the EP teaser for Airborne Toxic Event's third album, Such Hot Blood. Here, the band's signatures are certainly in place -- sky-scraping indie arena rock, equal parts U2 and Cure -- and there is a newer wrinkle of an Arcade Fire influence. Apart from the somewhat barbed closer, each song here is a sober, stately procedural, all the urgency arriving in its choruses, all the mystery in the verse. It's solid stuff but once Such Hot Blood arrives later in 2013, the need for this EP lessens, as all four cuts here are also on the finished LP. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 27, 2014 | Epic

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 20, 2015 | Epic

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2014 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 3, 2015 | Epic

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)