Label: Red Bull Records
The first half of Here Come the Runts, the third album for Aaron Bruno's AWOLNATION project, blasts ears into smithereens with his trademark collision of EDM mania and punk 'n' roll snarl. The opening title track (which very well could be a nod to fellow electronic tunesmith Todd Rundgren, whose first two records contain the word "runt" in their titles) is straight-up ferocious, boasting a thick Sabbath riff galloping over a hammering club beat. The funky "Miracle Man" is no slouch either thanks to a heavily syncopated groove caked in megaton fuzz and speckled with shimmering disco chords. As for the album's second half, it's a whole other beast: as if to prove his rock credentials, Bruno largely ditches dance music tropes and instead focuses on riff-raging almost exclusively. This results in cuts like "Cannonball" and "Tall, Tall Tale" that unload tons of frenzied howls, glam rock thump and filthy distortion.