Recommending Airborne Toxic, Fleet Foxes, Wombats CD’s

Wombats album one of year's best

Three bands released second albums that hit the spot:

The Airborne Toxic EventAll At OnceNo sophomore slump for these guys. Their “Changing” single is now top 10 on the national alternative radio airplay charts. Most of the album is strong and their live show backs it up. Dave Sardy produced this one and the sound is bigger this time around. There was a certain spontaneity last time that is lacking on All At Once, but that often comes with a band’s maturity even if it’s an element that we miss. Track trips are “Numb”, “Welcome to Our Wedding Day”, and title track “All At Once”.

Fleet FoxesHelplessness Blues…No sophomore slump for these guys, either. Leader Robin Pecknold warned us that this album would be darker and while that might hold true for the lyrics, the music and harmonies have the same beauty and warmth that work so well for the band. The songs are a little less obviously hooky this time, but I’m most liking “Battery Kinzie”, “Grown Ocean”, and title track “Helplessness Blues”.

The WombatsThe Wombats Proudly Present: This Modern Glitch…Hard to believe that this is also a second full-length release for these Brits. It feels like there’s been more, but the debut dropped in June, 2008 which songs like the UK smash “Let’s Dance to Joy Division”. This is a great album! The Wombat humor remains intact, although their sound has softened around the edges. Their single “Toyko” has done well in the UK. “Techno Fan” and “1996” show a humorous restraint while “Anti-D” and “Schumacher the Champagne” are total surprises. The band has been touring in Australia and drawing 2,000-3,000 nightly. US dates are coming very soon.


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