Airbag - A Day at the Beach

Airbag A Day at the Beach cover
A Day at the Beach
Karisma Records
Almost four years after their previous album (“Disconnected”), Airbag return with a brand new album and a few line-up changes. Bass player Anders Hovdan and keyboardist Jørgen Hagen left the band, so Airbag decided to go as a trio and record this new album, along with the help of some session musicians. Hence, bass player Kristian Hultgren participates in “Machines and Men”, “Sunsets” and “Megalomaniac”, Anders Møller (percussion) in “Machines and Men” and guitarist Anders Hovdan in “Sunsets”.
Airbag decided to cross their musical boundaries and they’ve embellished their atmospheric and ambient prog rock sound with electronic, new wave and film score elements. Especially the electronic elements have added so much atmosphere and allure to their songs that they will surprise both the old and the new fans of the band positively. Also the album has a crystal clear and full sound on the whole. No wondering why, cuz it was produced by Asle Tostrup and Bjørn Riis, engineered by Vegard Sleipnes and Asle and mastered by Jacob Holm-Lupo.
Asle told Grande Rock (read more here) that Kristian helped the band take some musical directions that they might not have taken otherwise. This is a very honest statement, cuz when you find yourself in a new situation, like Airbag did after the departure of their longtime members, they managed to overcome it by trying out new things and not staying on the same path.
I think it’s needless to go on a track by track commentary, cuz every track has its own atmospheric and charming character and all 6 of them end up capturing the listener’s interest to the fullest… especially after a couple of spins, cuz almost all of them are quite long. Asle’s smooth vocals are wonderful as always and Bjørn’s melodic & emotional solos will touch your inner self. In a few words, “A Day at the Beach” is an utter melodic & atmospheric prog rock album that’s full of moody soundscapes. This is probably the band’s best work to date… and the most encouraging thing is that it puts the base for their future music endeavors. Do not miss this album no matter what!