Friday Night: AWOLNATION & Wallpaper At Warehouse Live

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Photos by Mattthew Keever
AWOLNATION, Wallpaper
Warehouse Live
August 5, 2011

How can one appropriately describe AWOLNATION? Truthfully, we're still asking ourselves that very question this morning. And we haven't made too much progress since Friday night's sold-out show at Warehouse Live's studio.

Here's one thought we've come up with since then: Had Trent Reznor never outgrown his early poppy, keyboard-based rock music, perhaps Nine Inch Nails would have sounded something like this as he discovered synthesizers, distortion, etc.

But he did outgrow it, and Nine Inch Nails took a much darker turn in the late '80s. AWOLNATION, it seems to us, is happy to fill the void left in the wake of Reznor's progression.

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Aaron Bruno, the captain at the helm of the project, created AWOLNATION as a reason to work at Red Bull studios, and since has crafted many distinctive sounds by overly distorting his vocals above an eclectic mix of synthetic, alternative and even indie rock. Sometimes he raps, too.

We know it sounds silly, but it all comes together surprisingly well.

The music isn't so listener-friendly that everyone will like it, of course. And to be honest, we're still not quite sure how we feel about it. What we do know is that Bruno put on a stellar performance, and most of the songs were either catchy enough or appealing in other ways that we have decided to look into the band's music further.

Some songs such as "Sail" and "Guilty Filthy Soul" were right up our alley, even though the two are drastically different. Others though, like "Burn It Down," felt like musical blue balls - the song just never got where we wanted it to go.

But the band, as a whole, is worth looking into. If nothing else, there's a lot of potential here, and we look forward to hearing Bruno's sophomore release, which he is writing on the band's current tour.


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Warehouse Live

813 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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