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Album Review

2011's "Sail," a thick blast of paranoid, midtempo, industrial-tinged electro-pop, was the centerpiece of Awolnation's platinum-selling debut, and its fevered Trent Reznor-isms and heavily barbed hooks (and very 21st century refrain of "Blame it on my ADD") lent themselves well to late-night TV dramas and intense sporting montages. Run, the Aaron Bruno-led outfit's sophomore outing, doubles down on the attention deficit with a dizzying 14-track set that channels everyone from Muse to the Beach Boys, offering up a grab bag filled with huge arena choruses, bucolic harmonies, and meaty dance beats. Bruno comes out of the gate coiled and ready to strike with the unnerving title cut, which introduces a sleek, orchestral, minor-key loop and a mantra of "I am a human being, capable of doing terrible things" before exploding into a full-on NIN-style hissy fit (had it arrived a year earlier, it would have made an ace stand-in for the Eels' "Fresh Blood," which adorns the opening credits sequence of HBO's true crime Robert Durst documentary The Jinx). Bruno pulls a complete 180 with the breezy and soulful "Fat Face," but wastes little time in getting back to the dystopian workout regime on the brazenly retro "Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)," a hook-filled, heavily arpeggiated blend of classic new wave and early-'90s big box pop that falls somewhere between ELO, New Order, and Imagine Dragons.

Customer Reviews

It’s like Megalithic Symphony never stopped!

AWOL is ahead of the times and keeps you nodding your head through this album!

Hooks and Melodies abound

The rock edge is still there from before but there are more glorious pop hooks and fantastic melodies which is what attracts me to this band.

Garrett

AWOLNATION! Happy to hear your back and better than ever. Always bring me back from the dead!!!

Biography

Born: November 11, 1978 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '10s

A solo project of Aaron Bruno, AWOLNATION began as a creative outlet for the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Bruno, who had been a member of Home Town Hero and Under the Influence of Giants, needed a break from the collaborative process and hoped to find a place for some of his songs that didn't fit with his other bands. With AWOLNATION, Bruno built a kind of creative free-for-all for himself, allowing him to mix genres as he wanted in a style reminiscent of Beck, blending live instrumentation,...
Full Bio
Run, AWOLNATION
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Customer Ratings

Contemporaries