All At Once
Label: Island Records
The Airborne Toxic Event are very much a product of L.A. Finding drama in everything, the band employs blockbuster cliches about the joys of being "Numb," the woes of our wasting-time ways and the troubles of our youth. But what they've really nailed is role-playing: Opening with "All at Once," a chugging builder of Bono bombast, they then retrofit like The Killers doing Springsteen, polish puppy-dog pouts with a few drippy ballads, try on punk-abilly smirks and then close it all with the acoustic airiness of folkies at a campfire. We're guessing these guys like their movies with many twists.