AWOLNATION / by E

       AWOLNATION is an electronic rock band consisting of Aaron Bruno, Drew Stewart, Hayden Scott, Kenny Carkeet, and Devin Hoffman. The band was formed in 2009 when Bruno was given free use of the Red Bull recording studio and the band has since released three EP's and one full length album; they are currently working on their upcoming sophomore album and will be releasing two new singles ("ThisKidsNotAlright" and "Some Kind of Joke") from the upcoming album (you can get "ThisKidsNotAlright" on Injustice: Gods Among Us).
       AWOLNATION's first album opens with "Megalithic Symphony" and "Some Sort of Creature", setting the stage for their experimental techno rock sound before heading into "Soul Wars", a song which deserves, at least at the most primitive level of enjoyment, some sort of steady head bob for its great and solid rock beat (and if you can't appreciate that beat, you have to admit that "1,2,3 do you love me?" is a great opening line). 
       "People" comes in with a short monologue to the fans (from Bruno), followed quickly by a great beat (it's fair to say that every AWOL song has a great beat) and even better lyrics with verses that need to be danced to and a chorus that begs you to sing along with it. After lifting up the album with "People", the band continues to keep the sound upbeat (dance-able might be a better description) as they follow it up with "Jump On My Shoulders" (nothing sounds better than Bruno singing "you can jump on my shoulders" followed by the repetitive "lalala"'s that make this song irresistable) and "Burn It Down" (once again, an amazing beat from AWOL that forces you to dance and you can't deny the greatness of lyric lines like "looking through a window made of time, would you have the courage not to lie" and "some people call it crazy well I call it healing").
       "Guilty Filthy Soul" transitions from the hard rock of the previous song to a softer rock based on an acoustic guitar and reggae-ish beats, before heading into eternally great "Kill Your Heroes". "Kill Your Heroes" is one of few songs where every line is just as amazing as the last and the band cannot get enough credit for writing a song like this; lines like "never let your fear decide your fate", "I say ya kill your heroes and fly...no need to worry cuz, everybody will die", and "don't you worry we love you more than you know" are all perfect. 
       "My Nightmare's Dream" offers a soft hook (taken from "All I Need") and a short, acoustic, intermission from the rest of the songs on the album before delving into "Sail". Everyone knows the song because it's amazing and topped the charts last summer; plus, you can't not sing along to "maybe I'm a different breed, maybe I'm not listening, so blame it on my ADD baby" (and nothing is better in a song with lyric lines like "this is how an angel dies" and "maybe I should kill myself" than an entire verse of "lalala"'s; gotta love it). 
       "Wake Up" comes in slowly, featuring female vocals and sounding, in itself, dreamlike; the song also manages to mix traditional rock sounds with the underlying beats of a traditional reggae sound (and I'm a sucker for anything that can cross those genre borders with ease). "Not Your Fault" continues with that beach-y reggae sound that was re-introduced in the last song with a great opening line ("she was built with a brain and some swagger") and an even better chorus that continually repeats "it's not your fault"; it's just as wonderfully catchy as the rest of their songs and includes the bands ever amazing ability to use great lyrics in all of their songs.
       "All I Need" is an adorable song and I'll never get tired of listening to those lyrics; lines like "all I need is you smiling at me" and "all I need is life, love with you" are only enhanced by the soft piano melody that flows throughout the song and the steady beat that carries on throughout.
       "Knights of Shame" has an opening which I, of course, love ("dance baby, dance, like the world is ending"), and is long enough to really show off the bands lyrical and instrumental skills; keeping a song going for fifteen minutes without losing the listeners interest can't be easy, but AWOL does so seamlessly (with lyric lines ranging from "but here's last kiss, all suckers, they will cease to exist" to "life is whatever you think it is, what you think this is" to "is anybody really out there" and "without you, I will die" and an ever evolving beat which takes you from a slowly building electronic rock to a sweet anthem-esque reggae-rock sound to a bit of a hip-hop beat before heading into a solid rock beat, and then coming back around again to the reggae-rock sound then heading back to that electronic rock) with the song (with it's constant lyric and genre changes) offering an overall glimpse of the complete album, in one listening.
       "Swinging from the Castles" closes the album with a soft recording of watered down rock and steady lyrics that offer a great closing with lyrics like "it's not for free, it's only fit for our survival" taking it to its end, before petering out with a soft chant of "love".
       Every song this band puts out is amazing and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us with their next album. If you don't already love them, start falling for them now because they're great.
- E
Posted in