Reviewed by Brett Thorne.
In the distant future—the year 2010—scientists have discovered the magic of gene-splicing and are putting their new discovery to work in an effort to better the human race. They sweat under fluorescent lights, pulling and re-pulling from their pocket protectors, scrawling math equations that would make Einstein blush.
But all is not well. While the intellectuals in white coats conceive new ways to cure diseases and rid the world of war using this new found scientific power, a small faction of these technological frontiersmen, known simply as AWOLNATION, are watching as the dawn of a new possibility arises in their collective minds. Splicing the genes of James Brown, Keith Buckley, a Moog Little Phatty and anyone who thinks the 1998 Family Values Tour was a good idea, would create a monster that, when reined in and under close supervision, could create moments of musical euphoria. Working in this kind of uncharted territory is sure to have its unforeseen drawbacks and the Limp Bizkit rap-sludge of a track like “MF” is the worst brand of collateral damage.
So the four rogues, Bruno Von Hammer, Guy Ball, Merle Skye and Chinn Chang, worked tirelessly on their electro-rock doomsday device.
When at last the bolts had been bolted, the electrons had been electrified and the underpants had been soiled, they unleashed their beast upon the world for 14 minutes and 20 seconds and it left a slew of dancers in it’s wake.
For it’s first trick, the mess of wires and steel tried to “Burn It Down” but instead just got people moving and sweating, singing along to it’s refrain of “Burn it down, baby burn burn it down.” Even in this future world in which most of the population has an average IQ equivalent to that of a chimp in an Ed Hardy shirt, the lyrics seemed mind-numbingly dense. But the point of the AWOLNATION experiment was to get people dancing, not thinking.
“Guilty Filthy Soul” was the beast’s pièce de résistance. Opening with a strummed guitar, mirrored by a synth, the song lumbered along with handclaps and more soulfully delivered vocals until the middle section of the song slipped Von Hammer’s vocals into a filter and the instruments began bubbling and building into one last funky burst of destruction.
“Sail” was another instant groove-inducer. Its heavy bass synth and orchestra of digitalized violins gave the entire song an epic feel, the beast shouted placations for his baby to his baby to “blame it on my ADD.” The unmistakable mark of Apes and Androids’ DNA was left on the song’s bridge, which featured a bunch of “la la las” which broke the song down before launching back into one last bout of violins and synth and a chorus of “Sail! Sail! Sail!”
The beast was last seen high-fiving Fred Durst and trying on Yankees baseball hats while “MF” was unleashed upon the world. Windows shattered. Children and grown men alike cried for their mothers. As AWOLNATION pulled apart whatever good it had created for the previous 11 minutes, the Von Hammer, Ball, Skye and Chang peered out upon their creation and saw that it was good. Not great. Certainly no Godzilla or Rockness Monster but still a force to contend with if it ever decides to rear its head again.