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AWOLNATION, Here Come The Runts - album review

By Leigh Sanders | Entertainment | Published:

As we said in one recent review, these modern rock crossovers are a right mixed bag.

Some hit many marks, while others are so far off the boil it's like that scene in Hollywood hit Gravity where Sandra Bullock is just spinning off uncontrollably into space.

But unlike Don Broco's Technology, which had some of one and many of the other, this new offering by AWOLNATION is far more on-point.

Fun - we are constantly crying out for more records to let loose and enjoy themselves a bit.

Yes, serious messages have their place and sadder tunes can mend many a broken heart. But sometimes, we just want to dance.

And that is exactly what is going on here. Aaron Bruno and the AWOL lads have come to party, bringing the zany LED world of LA to a wider audience on record number three. If you could sum up the pompous, absurd sides to one of the world's most glamorous destinations it would probably be this.

That grainy riff pummelling throughout Passion shows the gritty underside to a vast city where stars rise, fall and implode quicker than we can change our underwear. It sets the tone nicely for what is to come.

The swagger throughout the spoken word interludes of Sound Witness System is delicious. It's like Beastie Boys are hanging out with Fun Lovin' Criminals at the tastiest of barbecues. And again that aggression flows through when the synths kick in. It's an alarm of a song and it sounds fantastic.

We mellow out a bit for Seven Sticks Of Dynamite but the acoustic vibes barely keep the next party wave under wraps, and when the explosive Beck-like guitars kick in they can carry you through any all-night Hollywood premiere after party.

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Other notable mentions are the title track, Tall, Tall Tale and the closer Stop That Train, which is an other dimensional journey into the inner catacombs of the band's collective mind. And check out that Turbowolf-esque stomp of an outro, too.

With spring just around the corner this is a great record to get listeners craving those sunny summer days. The parties are coming, so warm yourselves up with this little ray of sunshine in our current frosty gloom.

Rating: 9/10

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders
@LSanders_Star

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at leigh.sanders@expressandstar.co.uk

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