A second album for the American band appears to have come easily. Yet another selection of strong and passionate tracks prove that since that big hit of 'Something Around Midnight', The Airborne Toxic Event have continued to grow.
They have pushed the boundaries of their work without losing their rock and orchestral mix. It can be the perfect effect when bands execute it well, and The Airborne Toxic Event know how to work it. They have yet again created an impressive and powerful collection of work with excellent guitar work, and fast and tension building drum beats, all complimented with the correctly placed orchestra. All creating something big.
Opening with the title track 'All At Once' you're hit with the high standard that will take you through a complete album. Already you can hear the live hits, the full venues able to sing a long, and the loud sounds filtering through the air.
You can count on The Airborne Toxic Event to use the same topics of change, death, war and love, but to never be overly sentimental. Tracks such as 'The Graveyard Near The House' and 'All For A Woman' do indeed show that the band are capable of the sweet sentiment and more vulnerable styles, but these are placed well amongst the more typical . Yet you can't think of many who could create a song including a wedding day and terrorism 'and you know it's begun from the crack of the guns'.
Mikel Jollett clearly knows that a good chorus will take you far. Not only can the band create the anthems we could be hearing live this year, but they can pull them off technically. This ambition, whether manufactured as part of a plan or not, can't really be faulted. If you have an idea and a dream, then go for it.
I'm not saying that we're looking at musical perfection here, some parts are a bit bland and uninspiring, but this is the minority. 'Changing' may have the perfect lines to sing with, but it could also be perceived as flatline and in need of an injection. If I can name one, possibly two tracks out of eleven here, it's not really an issue is it?!
There is only one way to play this album, and that's loud!