Airport 81 – Put Your Squares Together (CD)

The electronic sound of “Bonus Jack” is not necessarily influenced by Devo, but it really comes out of a more current techno / electronic vein . The bass line of “Hectrometre” really casts Airport 81 into a different vein, Each of the tracks on “Put Your Squares Together” has a completely different set of influences; a song like “Low Speed Impact Test” really seems to be pushed forward by a Locust type of sound. There is nothing in the way of vocal tracks, which really makes “Put Your Squares Together” into an album that would work perfect for those people wishing to zone out. The tracks of this album are fairly innocuous, with a track like “Square Vehicles On Collision Course”, Airport 81 gets their hardest and it is still nowhere near the intense electronic sounds of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult or Ministry.

The different styles approached by Airport 81 on this disc make for a perfect blueprint; dare I say it, but a song like “Read This Right To Left” seems spot-on in the instrumentation. Throw on the right vocals and one has an Interpol or a Postal Service; Airport 81 still succeeds as they show that vocals are an accessory instead of a necessity. Hints of other bands come through, especially in “The Buddy System”, which is a track that hearkens back to “Subdivision-era” Rush. “The Buddy System”, which at five and a half minutes is nearly the longest track on “Put Your Squares Together”, pulls out a gem from about twenty years ago when the track recalls Neil Young’s forgotten masterpiece “Trans”.

“Pete” is the second to last track on the disc and on it, Airport 81 really creates an atmosphere that sticks with listeners well after the track ends. The longer runtime of the track allows Airport 81 tremendous space to create their masterpiece, and really burrow into the human psyche. While the tracks on “Put Your Squares Together” are all solid, it is perhaps this late disc track that takes the prize. The disc may have a distinct sound that would seem to suggest that only true fans of the genre would like it, but the arrangements transcend simple classifications and really show themselves to be applicable to all groups and liked by everyone. Well worth the time and money it will take to track a copy of this album down, Airport 81’s album may just be the best thing to happen to electronic music in years.

Top Tracks: Pete, Crossword Puzzle Love Triangle

Rating: 6.9/10

[JMcQ]

Airport 81 – Put Your Squares Together / 2005 Breathing Room / 13 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/airport81 / http://www.breathingroomrecords.com /

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