Airborne Toxic Event

Everybody loves the sampler platter, right? It makes for a convivial atmosphere, a harbinger of good times to come. The Airborne Toxic Event is like that. The L.A. band leaves no 21st-century indie touchstone uncovered, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. ATE has gotten more than a bit of grief for its tendency to sound like a hipster iPod set on shuffle, despite — and because of — its supreme listenability, but that may be a result of hype-cum-marketing that can be resolved by a slight image shift. Just think of ATE as a 2000s cover, er, "tribute" band that happens to write its own material. Despite the fact that ATE sometimes takes itself too seriously, the members are first and foremost entertainers, and on that front they deliver. (When did originality become the ultimate determiner of worthiness, any way?) In a way, ATE's catholic cribbing is its own type of innovation. It's pretty easy to sound like someone, but to sound like everyone at once? You gotta admit, that's kind of impressive.

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Nicholas L. Hall is a husband and father who earns his keep playing a video game that controls the U.S. power grid. He also writes for the Houston Press about food, booze and music, in an attempt to keep the demons at bay. When he's not busy keeping your lights on, he can usually be found making various messes in the kitchen, with apologies to his wife.
Contact: Nicholas L. Hall