Red Bull Records
Electronic Rock, 2015
AWOLNATION, which is actually a one-man act of Aaron Bruno, follows up Megalithic Symphony with Run, which offers more of the same crazy-weird kind of bombastic music that characterized the previous album. While Mr Bruno must be commended for not trying to repeat his formula too obviously here, there are enough of the same kind of formula to appease fans, or conversely, keep the non-fans away.
Conventional angst-laden emo anthems like Drinking Lightning and Lie Love Live Love are given a twist in the neck with some production values that make them seem like they have been gloriously violated by OMD and Queen in an orgy of excessive melodrama. KOOKSEVERYWHERE!!!! sounds like another fast-paced drums-on-steroids affair but it soon morphs into some weird Nirvana-like screeching. Windows is a solid old-fashioned pop rock song at heart while the title track resembles Mr Bruno being possessed by the spirit of Marilyn Manson. And so it goes. The songs here can be whimsical, weird, or just straight out solid tunes with good hook and killer choruses (Woman Woman).
However, there is a danger of the songs becoming too mechanical with all the production values, with the songs coming off as samey-sounding creations of soulless technology rather than the sweat and guts, heart and soul of a human being. AWOLNATION hasn’t reached that stage yet, maybe because the novelty value is still there, but some new tricks in the future would be most welcome.