AWOLNATION Gets Passionate with, “Here Come the Runts.”

AWOLNATION’s third studio album commemorates 1980s pop-rock with modern lyrics and themes.

Donovan Simonton, Staff Writer

On February 2, AWOLNATION released their third studio album, “Here Come the Runts.” Their last studio album, “Run,” was released in March of 2015, so it has been just over three years since their last album release. In four days, the album’s most popular songs, “Handyman” and “Passion” earned over 1 million and 3 million streams on Spotify respectively. However, the band is trying still trying to recreate the popularity of the head-banging 2011 hit “Sail,” as they have more or less recreated their own sound. This time vocalist Aaron Bruno and his fellow band members really tried to create a more upbeat album than the somber, more slow-paced, “Run” and “Megalithic Symphony.”

HERE COME THE RUNTS: AWOLNATION’s latest album released in early 2018.

The album debuts with its title track, which features a very heavy drum and guitar throughout, with some trumpet and synth put over it that remind you of a 1980s heavy metal rock band. The song builds tension by repeating, “Here come the runts!” eight times, each time with greater passion and emphasis. As an old soul and raised on music that came before my time, this track really hits home.

The following song, “Passion,” is, well, passionate. The song was released as a single before the release of the album, but it still maintains its relevance. The verses are a calm before the storm of sorts, before the chorus explodes and fills the listener’s ears with a hard guitar riff and the statement, “You’ve got a little, you could use much more, p-p-p-p-passion.” The message of the song is to empower its listeners to do what they want to do in life. In my opinion, this is the most catchy song from the album, but it is also the most overplayed. To be quite honest, I do not feel as if it deserves the hype that has gotten because it simply is not the best song on the album.

A little farther down the track list, the fourth track of the album is “Miracle Man.” The song opens up with the chorus and it sounds very similar to “Passion.” The song seems to tell the listeners about being happy-go lucky and loving oneself (“I’m comfortable with who I am, I’m comfortable with my cynical stance”). I like the song because it’s really easy to sing along to and can immediately put someone in a better mood no matter what.

To skip around, “Table for One” showcases a catchy melody and somber lyrics just waiting to get stuck in your head. The song’s about somebody, most likely a love interest, exiting Bruno’s life (“Blue summer blood, blue summer love, Blue summer, don’t take me”). This song‘s melodic instrumental complements the reflective lyrics well. This one is my personal favorite off of the album.

To conclude, the album, in my personal opinion, is fantastic. All of the accompanying music truly fits with its lyrics. It’s been a while since I have found an artist and an album that can recreate the old-school blend of pop and rock of the 1980s. All of the lyrics are sung with a genuine and unparalleled passion.  I’ve pretty much had this album on repeat since it came out, and I will keep it in my rotation for a long time.

Out of five stars, I would give this album four. It’s fantastic in composition and production. It’s rough around the edges, but it’s made to be that way. The album has a good variety of songs on it, but none of them are going to be that “hit” song that everyone is always looking for.

Isabella Schlact
MUSIC MOODS: Above is a guide for which song to listen to, based on your mood.