Review by Natalie K.
Record label : Fat Possum Records
(Photo courtesy of Fat Possum Records)

thunder$trokeBeaten Awake is set to release their sophomore album Thunder$troke on October 13th via Fat Possum Records, and these four boys from Kent, OH have managed to create a smooth sounding indie/rock sensation of an album.

Not being aware of who Beaten Awake was before I received this album my initial thought was, “Seriously… These boys put a dollar sign as their letter S in the album title?” But after listening to Thunder$stroke all the way through, well some tracks way more than once, I now forgive them for that. Starting out this record is ‘Mr. Thompson (Can you dig it?)’ which has a bit of a feel-good Springsteen vibe to it which can never be a bad thing in my opinion. Their entire album is chalked full of rock beats that make you want to tap your foot which I found myself doing on more than one occasion, in fact I caught myself snapping to a song.. Yeah.. Hard to admit but it shows how endearing and lost I got in this album.

I hate to come off as cliché but every track is better than the last. When going through albums I like to pick out 2 or 3 of my favorite tracks and write in detail about those, but when track 5 ‘I’m Not Asking For The Moon’ is better than track 4 ‘Gyro Quake’, and track 10 ‘Halo V’ blows both of them out of the musical water it is hard to pick and choose. I tried to find some common ground and I think what makes the songs so great besides the musical backings is how “normal” the lyrics are. Nothing is complex with hidden meanings, just straight at you lyrics that people can relate too. They keep it simple even if the song titles are anything but, I mean come on now…. ‘I Shot The Mayor, Not The Deputy Mayor’ which is in fact the closing track title on this sophomore album Thunder$troke. Just to touch on one more song, ‘Mr. Thompson’ is another break out song with an amazing guitar solo near the end which shows that these boys are all pretty talented and mesh musically well together.

Beaten Awake has a bit of Kings of Leon to their sound without coming off or even trying to sound like that band. I do not want to take away from Beaten Awake because their music is real and all them, but if you are into the band Kings of Leon (lets keep it real, who is not ?) you definitely need to check out Beaten Awake and give their songs a listen too because you will not be disappointed. If they can get their name out there and eventually support a big band with the same sound aesthetic (hint, hint, Kings of Leon, The Killers) they will face some serious critical and fan praise in 2010.