When The Airborne Toxic Event's debut album was released in the States last year, it elicited gushing tides of praise. Not without reason, mind: these ten tracks are indeed, short and likeable, and the Mikel Jollett-led band also turn in a scintillating live set, according to reports. Still, the hyperbole ("U2! Springsteen! Arcade Fire!") should be taken with a large canister of salt: when bands tap into a mass market, even if it's an 'indie' one, people tend to get slightly carried away with themselves.
The Airborne Toxic Event plunder the same musical depths as The Killers, in that respect, although they're a lot more discerning than the Las Vegas outfit. Driving rock with a mass appeal, there are several songs here that are tailor-made for crowd singalongs, and it's very likely that you've already heard their biggest hit 'Sometime Around Midnight' - a poignant portrayal of seeing an ex with their new lover - on daytime radio.
Amidst the poppy, radio-friendly numbers, however, ('Happiness Is Overrated', 'Does This Mean You're Moving On?') are some rough gems that make the biggest impressions. 'Papillon' sees Jollett scrape the pavements with his deep howl cast over a shifty jangle, while 'Gasoline''s classic rock 'n' roll shuffle doffs its quiff to the likes of The Clash or Elvis Costello.
There are indubitably flashes of real excitement here, and it'll be interesting to see what The Airborne Toxic Event come up with next - providing, that is, they can survive that ominous 'Next Big Indie Thing' tag.