A Nation arises in the alternative rock industry

Awolnation in practice.

With the recent release of their first album “Megalithic Symphony”, less than a month ago, March 29, Awolnation is quickly gaining attention. In this week they have been gaining more and more radio play as their song “Sail” begins to climb the charts. And from the sound of their CD, they weren’t really expecting some publicity to go their way.

The side and solo project of Aaron Bruno who was formerly of “Under the Influence of Giants” and “Hometown Hero” and unlike those two groups, Bruno may be on the right track to success. Bruno has brought a new sound to the table, combining synths in a way similar to MGMT but that really stands out. Noticeably, he uses a choir in his songs which give them an almost “gospel” feel. However this “gospel” touches is really found in “All I Need” which then turns around into a pop rhythm. It’s rather surprising how Bruno is able to twist his songs.

In “Not Your Fault” you start out on a slower beat, more like something you’d expect to hear from The Postal Service or The Temper Trap (with the exception of Sweet Disposition) but quickly, in the chorus, Bruno releases his inner Marilyn Manson, a voice that sounds like it’s been tainted with cigarettes and wanting to scream. But it doesn’t sound bad. He takes risks, and he makes them work. The entire album just seems to get stuck in your head.

Bruno has been able to make Awolnation stand with it’s own sound. For a first album, this is pretty rare, but you can already tell that it’s not experimental–the deal is set. Hopefully he doesn’t take the wrong turn like Cage the Elephant and spit out garage band pity attempts at a second successful album.

Possibly the most interesting thing about Awolnation are the lyrics. The sound has some happy beats but with the lyrics it just seems like a big ball of irony. Bruno really writes about murder, death, destruction and just not feeling like your good enough. But it sounds happy and makes you want to sing. Awolnation is generally depressing, it is truly, but curse it all if the music isn’t just so exciting and fun. In this way, Bruno has managed to appeal to different levels.

It’s hard to define Awolnation’s genre. Are they gospel sounding pop music? Are they a rap-techno combo? Are they like Passion Pit and just synth mixers? Is it rock music…without cuss words? Each song needs it’s own genre and the beauty of it is that you can tell it’s Awolnation. It’s a mystery really, as to what ARE they when you get technical, but at the very least you can say that they are GOOD.

I give this album a 4/5 panther paws.