Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Awolnation – Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)

A revival of something or other is going on here.


Iain Mew: I appreciate the colourful jumpiness and refusal to settle for the obvious, and look forward to their next single “London Forest (Fezzes are Cool).”

Alfred Soto: Nice chord changes, and Aaron Bruno goes from faux Trent Reznor to eh M. Doughty in two bars.  I don’t know what the hell it’s trying to do though.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Somewhere, there is a mother daughter pairing. The mother is listening to Neon Trees on the car radio, trying to get back from the vet’s appointment for the dog. She is looking over to the daughter, who has her earbuds in and sulk on deck. Communication is impossible, and due to the bleed of sonics, both are kind of uncomfortable with the song in question in both their respective dimensions getting penetrated by the other’s. The funny thing is, of course, both of them are listening to essentially the same kind of overshouty uninteresting dreck, just with differing intended audiences. Eventually, they’ll come together in happiness and understanding, and maybe even away from such a headache as this.

Scott Mildenhall: What a mess, perhaps more than “Sail” seemed for a good while. Since that’s now halfway brilliant, maybe it could eventually surpass it. If they rewrote every part following the intro into palatable synthpop, it would be even more likely. As is, there are curious rap-sung elements approximate to a subpar Barenaked Ladies, a whiff of the time Editors definitely didn’t try to hop on an ’80s bandwagon, and more than enough dissonant racket.

Patrick St. Michel: Despite the frequent semi-ironic tease of a “revival,” nu-metal is never going to mount a real comeback outside of a .GIF of a BMX bike executing a spin move while Fred Durst does rap hands in some “remember junior high?” list. That’s for the best, though it also means the element that made nu-metal so inviting to teenagers around the globe will continue to be mostly ignored. That would be anger, already the hardest emotion to pull off in music without looking like a dickhead, but it’s closer to self-loathing, which is aimed at the world. It’s adolescent but real. “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” pulls it off. First, it’s sing-song self-introspection zipping into a vague ’80s pop jog before pivoting into general angst soundtracked by a mocking carnival hop. This is growing up — hating yourself and then deciding that, no, the world is wrong, and then realizing, nope, it was I all along. It’s stressful and painful! Which is why Aaron Bruno’s screaming climax is powerful. 

Edward Okulicz: An incoherent potluck in which everyone but the guy who bought the synthpop intro bought noise.

Katherine St Asaph: The lurchingest band going — both in sound and in lumbering path to the mainstream — makes a New Wave track, which unsurprisingly turns out to be one long weaving lurch to and around the chorus. Great chorus though.

Jonathan Bogart: Bring back the sequencer. There was nothing wrong with the sequencer.

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