AWOLNATION serves up classic style with “Here Come the Runts”

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AWOLNATION serves up classic style with “Here Come the Runts”

courtesy of Niagara Frontier Publications

courtesy of Niagara Frontier Publications

courtesy of Niagara Frontier Publications

Mary Siring, Staff Reporter

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The band, known for razor synths and electro-pop production, give fans exactly what they love with “Here Come The Runts.”

AWOLNATION is an alternative rock band formed and fronted by vocalist Aaron Bruno. Their biggest hit, “Sail,” dropped in 2011 along with their first studio album “Megalithic Symphony,” and has been certified 6x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

It was here that AWOLNATION set the precedent of it’s experimental style—from the sharp, dubstep-esque beats of “Sail” and “Not Your Fault,” to electro-pop “Kill Your Heroes,” to the swing, vocal heavy “All I Need.” AWOLNATION put many styles into one album, a tactic that could potentially go horribly wrong but worked incredibly well.

Since then, multiple big hit singles have been released such as “Hollow Moon,” “I Am,” “Woman Woman” and “Passion.”

AWOLNATION recently released its third installment, “Here Come The Runts,” on Feb. 2, continuing a fulfilling legacy.

“Here Come the Runts” is much like their previous installments, “Megalithic Symphony” and “Run.” Each have a mash-up of styles and each perform those styles particularly well.

The album begins with “Here Come the Runts,” obviously, a very fitting opener. This track sets listeners up for the entirety of the album. Within just three minutes and 19 seconds, the band packs multiple styles as well as classic lyrics and vocals.

Within this 14-track installment are multiple notable tunes that stand out from the rest.

“Tall, Tall Tale” is one instance of a very steady and continual production. In many tracks, the band will change tempos or styles, but “Tall, Tall Tale” keeps a very steady one. The vocals are just as monotone, in this sense, maintaining a quiet, rolling vocal. How much movement there is within this track is astounding, as it is particularly contained in comparison to many other tunes that will change tempo or production style halfway through.

“Cannonball” is a breath of fresh, familiar air. Not necessarily familiar for the band but for classic alternative rock. The tempo and production are reminiscent of classic alternative that was popular at the time of AWOLNATION’s birth with an upbeat drum beat and electric guitar.

“Table For One” is “Here Comes the Runts” slow track. It almost seems out of place, but considering how experimental the band is, nothing could really be out of place. The steady drum beat leading to a very invigorating electronic one, and the pairing of this with Aaron Bruno’s iconic vocals makes for a track that is meant to be listened to and loved.

With how production heavy the band is, it’s easy to get caught up in electronic beats and forget about lyrics, which is a shame as the lyrics are incredibly thoughtful and deserve much more recognition. Tracks like “Table For One” in the newest installment or “Headrest For My Soul” in “Run” highlight the talent of the lyric writing that AWOLNATION is capable of. It’s unfortunate to find that sometimes the production can cloud such innovative lyrics, but it just takes a listener to spend the time to get to know the album.

Overall, AWOLNATION has produced another great addition to  legacy, holding fast to a style that works.

Rating: 4/5its