Wednesday To-Do: Awolnation | Rock Candy

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wednesday To-Do: Awolnation

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Awolnation plays Revolution tonight.
  • Awolnation plays Revolution tonight.

AWOLNATION
8 p.m. Revolution. $17.

Like so many other contemporary acts, Awolnation reminds me of MGMT's first album, "Oracular Spectacular." Shorthand: it's agitated white-boy robo-funk. That's not a dis on any of these bands necessarily; it's just that that I think "Oracular" had a really far-reaching influence.

Awolnation is the solo project of Aaron Bruno, formerly of the post-grunge act Hometown Hero and the lite-funk pop quartet Under the Influence of Giants. Bruno put out his first EP as Awolnation in 2010 and got a big hit right out of the gate with "Sail," a pulsing, minimal synth R&B jam about having ADD and stuff. On first listen, it doesn't even seem like that much of a song. There are only like 50 different words and maybe 12 different sounds used in the whole 4 minutes and 19 seconds and the chorus is just him yelling "Saaail! Saaail!" over and over.

But the more times you hear it, the better it gets and before you know it, you're listening to it on repeat and going like, "Yeah man, I get it now, 'Saaail! Saaail!' " Macy Gray covered it recently, so there's a serious endorsement. "Sail" was wisely included on the first Awolnation long-player, "Megalithic Symphony," which came out last year.

Of the other tracks, "Soul Wars" and "Burn it Down" stand out. They sound like somebody playing that ultra-rare Little Richard/Kraftwerk jam session bootleg LP on 78 rpm, all pumping along and Bruno's wailing like "whooo!" He goes in for legit soulful sounds as well, such as on "All I Need."

His career so far seems to be mirroring the "studly rock band hunk rides electro all the way to the bigtime" path blazed recently by Sonny Moore, a.k.a. Skrillex. So will Bruno be the next Skrillex? Maybe. But he's gonna have to get a way goofier haircut and put more drops in his songs.

Check out "Sail" after the jump.

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