Album Review: AWOLNATION – Here Come the Runts

I really should like AWOLNATION. Aaron Bruno’s huge genre-mashing project sounds perfect for me- after all, Enter Shikari specialise in fitting as many different styles and genres as they can into single songs, and they’re one of my favourite ever bands. But something just hasn’t clicked yet. Everything that I’ve heard from them just hasn’t been to my taste, even though I can’t pinpoint why. I have renewed optimism for this new album of theirs, however. I’ve heard rumours of a simpler sound, while not sacrificing any of the creativity. In theory that should be perfect for me, but do I actually like it? Read on to find out…

Firstly, this album is much lighter than anything else I’ve heard by this band, which is great! You definitely won’t find anything like ‘Run’ or ‘Sail’ on here, great tracks though they are. Don’t worry though, the towering distorted synths are still here on some tracks, but they are usually a little more understated, allowing the listener to focus more on some of the other melodies that are happening. And this album has so much melody. Whether it’s the lead guitar on ‘Seven Sticks of Dynamite’, the soaring chorus of ‘Table for One’, or the plethora of synths and guitar sounds on the title track, there is always some sort of melodic line to hang on to throughout the album. They all happen to be incredibly infectious as well, not just lifting individual songs, but the entire album.

As well as everything sounding so bright and melodic, the album also sounds more detailed. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the rest of the band’s work is incredibly detailed too, but the fact that this album is quieter makes that detail feel lovingly crafted, rather than excessive embellishment. And that really seems to sum up this album- lovingly crafted. This feels quieter, more melodic, and more coherent than anything the band have created before. Why wouldn’t you want that?

Best songs: My Molasses, Table For One, Jealous Buffoon, Handyman

Score: 8/10

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