I've heard it said that true Radiohead fans hate Muse, perceiving them to be nothing more than Radiohead imitators. This is nonsense. Certainly, Muse picked up where Radiohead left off when Thom Yorke disappeared up his own posterior, but Muse have very much their own sound. Nevertheless, a decade on from OK Computer, comparison to Radiohead remains a touchstone of musical quality. And now the first album from Bournemouth band Air Traffic, Fractured Life, received the following glowing review in The Sunday Times:
This young quartet from Bournemouth are so much more musically savvy than nearly all the new crop of guitar bands that it will probably take the mad-for-it rock crowd a while to catch up with them. When they do, they will find this debut to be a richly coloured sequence of songs, comparable in scope and intensity to mid-1990s Radiohead. Beginning with a couple of hormonally overloaded rockers, Just Abuse Me and Charlotte, it shifts gears over the next nine tracks as vocalist/keyboard-player Chris Wall refracts his dark side through the hauntingly beautiful Empty Space, eventually regaining his equilibrium on Your Fractured Life. Performed with precision, conviction and, best of all, a poppy conciseness, this album is that often mentioned, rarely sighted thing: an emotional rollercoaster ride. Get on it.
But I'm not going to buy the album purely on the basis of one good tune that I've heard, and a review which compares them to Radiohead.