By Jake Harvey
Since AWOLNATION’s debut album ‘Megalithic Symphony’ went Platinum in the US and double platinum in Canada, they have largely gone under the radar. Those who recognise the name AWOLNATION will mainly remember the hit single ‘Sail’, which at the time of writing has well over 300 million hits on spotify. Since 2011 the band has gone through numerous personnel changes, and in the seven years since ‘Megalithic Symphony’, they released only one studio album: ‘Run’. Now in 2018 they have returned with ‘Here Come the Runts’, and it certainly brings something very different to the AWOLNATION name.
Now largely considered as Aaron Bruno’s solo project, ‘Here Come the Runts’ is an incredibly well balanced record, on a very noticeable tangent to AWOLNATION’s previous two studio albums. The album artwork might suggest that ‘Here Come the Runts’ is a more artistic and classic attempt at an album, and this is certainly the case, with Aaron Bruno even detailing in multiple interviews that ‘This record I really wanted to make a rock n’ roll/pop album,’ and he certainly delivers on that front. It is a beautiful re-vamp of 80’s rock n’ roll, with clear inspirations from The Boss, Tom Petty, The Cars and such like.
AWOLNATION seems to cover every different instrument and sound in their huge repertoire, with songs like ‘Tall, Tall Tale’ serving as a hearty reminder to bands such as Dire Straits, and others such as ‘My Molasses’ a more reserved exhibition of Bruno’s soft and melodic vocals.
‘Here Come the Runts’ certainly offers something for all sorts of listeners, as it often ranges from borderline Metal to borderline Jangle Pop. In essence this is an eclectic mix of tracks that successfully achieve continuity whilst also displaying AWOLNATION and Bruno’s huge range of different sounds. It is a Rock Sound that is refreshing, but also a reminder that Rock n’ Roll can be just like ‘Seven Sticks of Dynamite’; Explosive.