Review | Air Traffic Controller - Nordo

Air Traffic Controller – Blame

[B]oston native and former US Navy air traffic controller Dave Munro makes a triumphant return to the music world with the much-anticipated second album from Air Traffic Controller, titled Nordo. With the help of 150 fans and a little site called Kickstarter, Munro was able to release his follow up to 2009’s The One in June and give his fans what they have been waiting for these past few years… an amazing collection of new songs!

Nordo opens with one of the catchiest tracks I have heard in years, “Hurry Hurry,” and it quickly becomes clear that this is going to be a fun album from start to finish. The track starts with a plucky keyboard and rolling snare/kick drum, as Munro sings “I wish I’d snoozed/I coulda used a bit more sleep/Put on my shoes/These ones are running my feet” and within seconds I was bouncing around the room. As I am a sucker for songs that showcase male/female vocals, the track “You Know Me” is a highlight, with band member Casey Sullivan singing backup as the fuzzy guitar kicks in over a strumming mandolin and the one-two kick-stomp of Dave’s brother, Richie Munro, on drums. The pop sensibility flows throughout ATC’s sophomore release and is clearly evident on the track “Ready or Not,” which is an ode to past love wrapped in a whirling, musical crescendo of guitar, drums and violin. The album closes with the terrific song “Thinking of You,” which starts of as a simple solo guitar track and ends with a Beatlesque roll into crashing drums, blaring horns and plucking strings.

The six-piece Boston band are clearly loved by their fans, as they were the ones that helped get Nordo made in the first place, and it is clear that Air Traffic Controller loves them all right back. ATC has been compared to a number of a-list indie bands, and even though the comparisons are pretty much correct, the band makes a move with their latest release to put them in the lead of the pack.

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