An enjoyable effort offers a small taste of the local L.A. music scene, the Airborne Toxic Event’s self-titled debut stops short of creating a truly original sound. The Los Feliz group’s hit single, “Sometime Around Midnight,” tugged at the heartstrings of the dejected masses with its emo lyrics and catchy hooks. While “Wishing Well” and “Happiness is Overrated” standout on the album by following the lead of “Sometime Around Midnight,” much of the album is characterized by pop rock songs that stray from the single’s distinct sound, thus possibly alienating listeners hoping for more of the same.
The band offers a handful of soulful ballads and decent alternative fare, but the disc can easily be lumped together with other dime-a-dozen alt rockers on mainstream radio. “This is Nowhere” and “Gasoline” have a jumpy quality similar to the Strokes and are less polished than most of the other songs. Dance-oriented tracks “Does This Mean You’re Moving On?” and “Papillion” are fun but instantly forgettable.