Music » Critics' Picks

AWOLNATION

7 p.m. Saturday, January 21. Pop's Nightclub, 401 Monsanto Avenue, Sauget, Illinois.

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Ah, the all-too-familiar indie existential crisis: What to do when you hear something on the radio and enjoy it? Do you fess up and ask the Pitchfork gods for forgiveness or quietly submit and hand over your street cred debit card? Whatever. When bedroom projects abound and Justin Vernon is held up as a supreme deity, it's refreshing to find a young band that dares to dream in stadium-size high-fidelity. AWOLNATION's hyperbolic debut, Megalithic Symphony, has already been relegated to the alt-radio Unspeakables, and that's a damn shame. Aaron Bruno's massive half-bred pop anthems make heavy work of tinkling piano lines, tight harmonies and minimal guitar, and call to mind his alternative behemoth betters like Muse, Gorillaz and Nine Inch Nails. Somehow, he manages to leverage over-earnest lyrics with enough incendiary bombast and genre wanderlust to keep us from politely yawning, "Next!"

Blame It on Our Car Stereo ADD: And don't tell our feminist friends that we occasionally tune into the Point (105.7 FM). But seriously, "Sail." Just, "Sail."

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