Spotlight \

The Airborne Toxic Event

Los Angeles-based quintet prep indie-rock white noise on their taut eponymous debut album, due Aug. 5

What? A tad grimy and wholly gimmick free, Los Angeles’ the Airborne Toxic Event sport fuzzed out six-strings and danceable Franz Ferdinand-like grooves on their self-titled debut, out Aug. 5. Alternating between steady Strokes-y guitar rock and more free-form vibes, these Cali rockers even flirt with new wave on album opener “Wishing Well,” building atmosphere with anthemic synths and strings. And the group get a touch cheeky on “Does This Mean You’re Moving On,” delivering deadpan lines like, “I come to your door / I hear a moan / Then another voice / Oh, Christ, she’s not alone.”

Who? Formed in 2006 by singer/guitarist Mikel Jollet, and hailing from the edge of the Hollywood Hills in Los Feliz, California, the Airborne Toxic Event have cultivated local buzz into a launching pad for international exposure, even sharpening their live chops with a residency at the Echo. Fleshed out by drummer Daren Taylor, bassist Noah Harmon, lead guitarist Steven Chen, and violinist/violist/keyboardist Anna Bulbrook, the band take their name from the Don DeLillo’s 1985 postmodern novel White Noise.

Fun Fact: The Airborne Toxic Event violinist Anna Bullbrook worked as the Resident Assistant in the Columbia University dorms that housed Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig. Years later Bullbrook played in a string quartet for a session with the Spin cover-boys and fellow Ivy Leaguers.

Now Hear This: “Sometime Around Midnight”DOWNLOAD MP3