Review: AWOLNATION – Here Come the Runts

If you’re anything like me, your interest in AWOLNATION stopped at their hit song “Sail”, never really delving any deeper into their discography. I have searched for years to try and find a better way of organizing what I should be listening to, but I haven’t found the perfect system yet, so things fall through the cracks. That’s what happened between AWOLNATION and I – no hard feelings – just an overwhelming sense of having to listen to anything and everything. I’m happy to say that this is something that will no longer happen. AWOLNATION and I are fast friends because of their latest album, Here Come the Runts.

You can buy Here Come the Runts on iTunes.

I’m always skeptical of listening to a band’s newest album without doing a bit of research, (aka listening to the rest of their discography), but I didn’t have to worry about that with this album. It’s somehow simultaneously what to expect from Aaron Bruno and a complete surprise. It’s jumbled, it’s loud and it works. The first (and title) track is raucous and chaotic, yet doesn’t set the tone for the album. It goes all over the place and is as interesting as it is entertaining.

My favorite song from the album is without a doubt the lead single, “Passion”. Look for it on my summer playlist, folks. It’s got a great energy and it stands out, reaching out to old fans who may have put AWOLNATION on the back burner, as if to say, “Hey guys, we’ve still got it!” It also draws new people (me) in and displays just how talented this band is.

Lead vocalist Aaron Bruno is the only original member left in the band. They’ve had a rocky couple of years in this regard, losing members left and right for all manner of reasons. To me, this should signal the end of a band’s golden era, but it doesn’t seem to mean that for Bruno. This is the band’s best release out of their three albums.

The song “Sail” from Megalithic Symphony is seven years old at this point, and I think it was time for something fresh. I hadn’t really heard too much about their second album, Run. I knew it existed but the buzz around it died so quickly I felt like I never got a chance to focus on it. With Here Come the Runts, Aaron Bruno gives a collection of songs that refuse to be ignored. They stand perfectly fine on their own, but come together in a dynamic way when listened in full.

That being said, the one double-edged sword with this album is its length. I’m sure I’ll confuse everyone when I say that while each song is necessary, each song isn’t totally necessary. Maybe it’s just me falling into our culture’s trend of short attention spans, but 14 tracks feels a bit lengthy on this album. (Personally, I think 11 to 12 would have been the sweet spot.) So, yes, it takes a while to get through, but it’s a rewarding experience once you do. Make sense?

To say that this is a great album is an understatement. In my opinion, AWOLNATION has returned with an offering that hopefully only compounds their success. This has definitely come into my rotation for a while, and I think this could be a great start to a new, unique part of AWOLNATION’s career.

4/5

by Nadia Paiva

kiel_hauckNadia Paiva has been a music enthusiast since she can remember. Going to shows is her main pastime. The other is being upset when she can’t go to shows. This is her first official venture into writing about music. You can follow her on Twitter.

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