Customer Reviews: Megalithic Symphony
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on January 31, 2012
This band is rising fast!... Every few years a band comes along that changes the alternative music scene, and becomes an inspiration for many new bands to come... I think AWOLnation may be one of those bands...

AWOLnation has a truly original sound and unique voice in Aaron Bruno (signer / lead songwriter) His vocal skills are eminent and range a variety of genres... he can sing catchy melodies, break out into staccato vocal beats, rise to epic emotional rock screams, drop back into a rap line, and then into a multi piece gospel harmony with backup vocals and instruments... and often, all these vocal styles in a single song. The result is a great variety and range of pace and emotion.

The rest of the band is very good as well.. including Blind Melon guitarist Chris Thorn... and even though the music is heavily Pro-Tools produced, AWOLnation manages to pull off really great live performances.. (check out YouTube for various live tracks) .... the true test of their musicianship.

In addition to nailing the cross pollination of several genres, writing catchy melodies, and having great production values, I will also say that this band does a great job of writing songs that "breathe" well... they deftly allow space in between beats and melodies to give the downbeats and changes a great effect. Translation: They get your head bobbing!

The entire album is very good... I've listened through it several dozen times now. It's well worth the purchase.


-> "SAIL" (5/5 stars)
Their first single / radio hit... a dark sounding song combining ripping electronic synth bass, staccato string chops, catchy guitar arpeggios, and a combination of great vocal melodies and heavy angst filled vocals. This was the song that convinced me to buy the album in the first place... probably like most.

-> "GUILTY FILTHY SOUL" (5/5 stars)
I loved this song as soon as I heard it... opening with a catchy guitar riff that breaks down into a killer beat. Great vocals and vocal variation. Great melodies, interesting lyrics, catchy electronic synth piano, and production effects. I'd say this is the best track on the album. iTunes says I've listened to it 37 times.

-> "NOT YOUR FAULT" (5/5 stars)
Their latest single / radio hit... Features a great combo of synth keyboard and bass parts, with a variety of genres. Great vocal performance with heavy angst filled chorus and catchy melodic verses. Its a fun, dancey song. Great recording/production.

These songs caught my interest and replay buttons after the second or third listen through.

-> "KNIGHTS OF SHAME" (5/5 stars)
It's not often that a 10+ minute song is even attempted by bands these days... indeed, anything longer than 5 minutes is rare... it goes against commercial recommendations of the labels, and basically guarantees no radio play... which is too bad, but thats for another discussion. Knights of Shame is an epic song that goes through many great sections. This song showcases the huge variety of sound that AWOLnation is able to produce. Electronica, Pop, Cartoon Indie, Drum and Bass, Rap, Funk, Gorillaz-esque Hip-Hop, Rock, Space Synth... this song has a little bit of everything... and its doesn't feel gimmicky... its solid all the way through 12 min.

-> "JUMP ON MY SHOULDERS" (4/5 stars)
More great combination of shakin' beats with electronica synth and a variety of vocals.

-> "WAKE UP" (4/5 stars)
A combination of heavy beats that will shake your body and melodic Jamiroquai-esque breakdowns.

The rest of the tracks are very good as well (3/5) to (4/5) tracks. My recommendation: get this album. I appreciate it as a fan of a many genres of music, and as a musician myself.

AWOLnation is currently touring. I'm hoping their sophomore album will be as inspired as this one is, and not be too far off in the future.
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on May 11, 2011
Like most of the other reviewers of the album, I first Awolnation with the song 'Sail' and almost instantly fell in love. I didn't preview any of the other songs based on my love for the song 'Sail' before purchasing the album, and I was pleasantly surprised in the several directions that the songs take.

1. Megalithic Symphony - 3/5 - A simple intro song. Interesting sounding, a good start to the album.
2. Some Sort of Creature - 1/5 - I don't really know why this song is on the album. It kind of ruins the flow set up by the first song.
3. Soul Wars - 5/5 - The first real song on the album and it kicks it off with a bang. This song is up tempo and extremely fun. It combines a quick fun verse, and then a hard hitting chorus that combines screaming and singing. Great song.
4. People - 4/5 - I've never been a fan of songs that start off with talking, and this song takes a penalty for this. But as soon as it gets to the actual song, this song is more of an uplifting close-to-epic track.
5. Jump on My Shoulders - 4/5 - This song is similar to People, but much more simple. It's basically a fun tune, and nothing more.
6. Burn it Down - 5/5 - The sheer anarchy of this song is what makes it so perfect. Starting off with a crazy drum fill and then a quick beat and lots of screaming makes this song not only fun to listen to, but also gives the feeling of being on a thrill ride. One of the best songs on the album.
7. Guilty Filthy Soul - 5/5 - I love this song! It sort of sounds like a modern rock version of a Jackson 5 song.
8. Kill Your Heroes - 5/5 - Not as dark as it sounds, and actually turns out to be a bit up-lifting with lyrics "No need to worry, because everybody will die," in one of the best choruses of the album. Great song.
9. My Nightmare's Dream - ?/5 - Interlude. Can't really rate this song.
10. Sail - 6/5 - I have to give this song a little of a bonus point, since not only is it putting this band on the radar of the music scene, but is doing so for great reason. This song is pure dark-electronic heaven.
11. Wake Up - 3/5 - The opening is a bit odd, with an female vocalist that sets up the song to be somewhat of an anthem, and then becomes a song similar to Soul Wars, but not as good. Not a bad song, but the band is clearly capable of more.
12. Not Your Fault - 5/5 - Another favorite on the album, great verse, great chorus, a simply great upbeat song.
13. All I Need - 5/5 - The only true slow song on the album, and it shows that Awolnation has the ability to do a slow tempo song just as well as a quick one. The only downside is that makes me wish for more ballads on the album.
14. Knights of Shame - 2/5 - This song is five minute long song, drawn out over fifteen minutes. It's not all bad, but after a few minutes it causes the loss of interest. Especially with the unnecessary two minutes of silence at the end of the song.
15. Shoestrings - 4/5 - A fun song. Not the best closer for the album, but it ends the album on a light note at least.

The ratings obviously don't add up to the 5/5 that I gave the entire album, but as a whole, the entire album works perfectly. Some songs are better than others, but it flows perfectly and is one of the best Electronic/Indie-Rock albums ever (Not that it has much competition...)
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on May 24, 2011
To start it off, this album is simply amazing!

About 4 years ago I discovered a band called "Under the Influence of Giants" who is such a great band...I was sad to hear they made one great album and split up...Now to back to the present, I rectently discovered Awolnation through Amazon (like all of my music) and very quickly became attached to the album. I thought there was something very familiar about the sound of the vocals/sound...I looked it up, and sure enough Its Aaron Bruno from Under the Influence of Giants. I was very impressed when I found out its his solo project!

I cant stress enough how inspiring all of the tracks are on this album (besides track 2 which doesnt make any sense). Aaron Bruno is very talented! Such original sound, with upbeat sound and very broad vocals. I highly recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of Under the Influence of Giants, or anyone who is looking to add another superb album to their collection.
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on January 15, 2014
It's so rare for a CD to get under my skin the way this one has, but I can't get enough of it. Of course I loved the song 'Sail' and since it has such a unique contrast with sweet, almost mysterious music with angsty, sort of haunting lyrics. There's such an interesting mood there I'm not surprised the song did so well and if it hadn't charted, this gem of a CD might have slipped under my radar. I'm so glad it didn't. When I got it, I knew that wouldn't be their only sound, but I was immediately impressed by how many different styles one band can fit onto a CD.

The first two songs that really blew my mind were 'Soul Wars' and 'Burn it Down' since I didn't expect them to rock out quite so hard. My first impression was that I loved every other song, so it took a few listens to appreciate the CD as a whole. My only qualm is that at times it's a little hard to understand the lyrics, so after looking them up, it just took my love to a whole new level. There's some real depth there, not only sadness and frustration (which I get from 'Sail') but pure joy. I can't not feel good listening to 'People' or 'Jump on my Shoulders.' Maybe there's a little pop influence, but there's enough rock in there that it feels like I've been waiting for this band to drop into my life. 'Kill your Heroes' and 'Not your Fault' were automatic winners. It took awhile for 'Guilty Filthy Soul' and 'Wake Up' to grow on me but they're pretty groovy too. 'All I need' is lovely. Don't get me started on 'Knights of Shame,' which was another early favorite that blew my mind right away. It's epic and awesome and I've never heard anything quite like it. The newer songs 'MF' and 'This Kid's Not Alright' freak me out. I'm addicted and I only wish I found this little gem of a CD earlier. It might not be for everyone, especially those who want 'Sail' to be their only sound. I can't be happier that it's not.

It's simply amazing.
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on September 27, 2011
First listen of this album wasn't too spectacular, but a few songs really stand out. Probably the most intoxicating and catchy is the track "Jump On My Shoulders"... why this wasn't the group's first single, I have no idea. "Sail" was the first single, and while it is very original sounding and gives a cool vibe, it lacks the instant attraction of some of the other tracks. Although it is very electronic in production, the songs themselves are completely pop/rock based which gives the album a much wider appeal. Regardless of the sound, this is NOT a techno or dance album.

Continued listens reveal new gems (a LOT of work and thought went into the production), and as a whole, this album is worth definitely worth buying.
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on September 29, 2011
The first time I went through this album - I liked one or two songs.
I tried it again the next week - liked the whole second half.
Listened to it again the same day - realized the whole album was great.
Literally was the only thing I listened to on my iPod for 2.5 weeks.
I'm still going.

I genuinely love this album. It's probably one of the best all-around albums I've heard in a long time.
AWOLNATION doesn't constrain himself to just one style of music - he's dedicated to making each song great. And that's what make this album so good. He didn't say "let's make a rock album" - he said "let's make a great one".
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on August 14, 2013
I cannot truly put into words how much I love this album, but I will give it a shot. Unlike most albums where there are a few songs I enjoy and the rest are just meh, this one is just amazing. I listened to this album from start to finish tonight and I am like a giddy school boy. I am so happy to have purchased the whole album!! There are obviously songs you have all heard on the radio, which are great, but the ones you have not heard are equally amazing.

I saw a review on here regarding rating each song out of a score of 5. The second one (Some Sort of Creature) isn't really a song and I could agree could be scored a 1, but I would actually give it a 3 because it gives the album character. If you were a Sublime fan and remember Raleigh (sp?) and all of the little non-songs on the's kinda like a mini one of those. Every other song I would rate no less than a 4 and probably almost every one a 5. Did I mention I LOVE this album? I am so glad I ordered the cd for my car because I cannot wait to rock out to this on the way to and from work.

Entire album overall 5/ one of my all time favorite albums
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on May 7, 2014
I love this album because it reminds me of Summer 2014, when I discovered it. Every song, from short-and-random "Some Sort of Creature", to strange-sounding "Guilty Filthy Soul", to the killer ballad "All I Need", to long [but definitely the best song on the album] "Knights of Shame", is good. The deluxe songs are great, too.

HOWEVER, I do need to say that there are some songs that definitely are not G-rated. They are "Jump on my Shoulders," "Burn it Down", and "MF."

Jump on My Shoulders is mostly a great song, so I won't worry if you are sensitive to swear words. But turn it down when the 'synthesizered' voice says "It's not supposed to be easy!" Because he says, afterwards, "That's why it feels so freaking good!" The one in Burn it Down is hard to hear, but if you want to know, Aaron says it after saying "Burn it Down" 6 times in a row towards the end of the song. MF is just full of swear words, so you should just take that one off the album.

But overall, the album is great! If you like rock, hip-hop, dance, techno, and screams [which there are a LOT of], then this is the album for you.
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on December 14, 2013
I bought this CD after hearing a couple of tracks, this strategy is always a gamble and in many cases results in possession of a CD of which one only listens to one or two tracks... NOT the case here! I love this CD from start to finish. Highly recommend it, great workout music.
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on May 21, 2011
I come away from this album feeling like I am witness to a significantly and singularly important, momentous musical birth. I have not been this excited about a group since I got my first Muse album in 2005. Not that they sound like Muse, but they're Muse-like in their intricacies of music genre combinations and stylistic changes from song to song all the while keeping cohesiveness in the album. They both also have a sort of rage against authority theme with exquisite lyrics.

And to think I found AWOLNATION in the most round-about way. I was watching a cool video about dancing Android robots and Sail was the background music. I HAD to know who the group was and where the song came from. Thank god for apps like Soundhound. I located a video of theirs on Youtube and was just stunned. After watching a couple videos I headed straight for Amazon. I HAD to have this album and was shocked and thrilled by the price. I listened to this album over and over again last night and I'm listening to it again right now for the third time this evening. I can already tell I'll be listening to this almost daily.

There is no simple classification for AWOLNATION. Their music is complex, but completely accessible. I hear a blend of alternative rock, indie, hip hop, electric, fabulous choruses, hints of Beatles, Pink Floyd, Traffic, and even heavy metal. Always there is a driving beat, heavy bass and percussion and something that is constantly stirring some deep musical memory in my mind that I can never quite put a finger on, and so many of the choruses are almost instantaneously absorbed so that you find yourself singing right along.

The first song is kind of what I'd call an introduction, like you'd find in a book. This is a hint of who we are, but now you need to read the book. And the second piece (it's not a song) is reminiscent to me of a quirky tidbit out of a Tom Robbins book. From there on out the album continues to build and build with every new song and each is different. No doubt, Sail is a star. There is something magnificently anthem-like about it. It makes me want to stand up and cheer. However, you'd be hard-pressed to find a single slacker in this album. What a rarity. So many albums today have one or two good songs, but an entire album of songs that all could individually be chart hits?!?! Wow. While many of the tunes can be bouncy or boisterous or even marvelously frenetic, All I Need is so much like a Beatles tune it's startling. It's not a cheap imitation. It's just that good and the singer sounds almost like Lennon. There are so many other songs on this album that I simply worship-adore, like Jump on My Shoulders, Kill Your Heroes, Wake Up, and Knights of Shame. The rest I just love. lol

I shall be evangelizing this group and this album to anyone and everyone who will listen because I so want them to be successful and produce more and more for years and years to come. Do not hesitate. Buy this album!
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