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Album Review: Here Come the Runts, AWOLNATION


If the only thing that comes to mind when you hear the name AWOLNATION is the song “Sail,” (bonus points if the cat Vine pops into your head), be prepared to shuck the notion that this is a one-trick band.

The band's third studio album, Here Come the Runts (Redbull, 2018) is less synthetic, less auto-tuned, but by no means less than truly great.

From the start, the title track sounds like classic AWOLNATION, with frontman Aaron Bruno bellowing “Last stop for magic” full-force, accompanied by a buzzing guitar that sticks around for most tracks.

From there, the album ricochets between restrained ballads and raucous rock anthems. The second track, “Passion,” was written after a journalist criticized the band for not having any on their last album. Just two tracks in, it's clear that Bruno is not lacking in that area anymore.

Elements of Guns N' Roses, road-trip classic rock and mellow fireside singalongs combine for a unique listening experience.

“Handyman” and “Seven Sticks of Dynamite” are the two standout ballads on the album. Both feature acoustic verses and raw, gripping lyrics, something new for AWOLNATION.

It’s a refreshing reminder that a rock album doesn’t have to be full steam ahead all the way through.