Alien Ant Farm - TruANT
by Linda Spielman
It’s been over two years since Alien Ant
Farm’s debut CD “ANThology” launched the band from obscurity into the public
eye with the punk/pop remake of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”. The
Southern Cali alternative band is back with their newly released sophomore
effort entitled “TruANT”. The quirky quartet, known
for their diverse musical influences and self admitted goofiness, have
developed into a stronger band both on the record and as individuals. With
the fatal bus accident in Spain of 2002 which killed their driver and seriously
injured many of the band and crew, a much longer hiatus for the band was
planned. However, when a routine band meeting was scheduled, frontman Dryden
Mitchell (who sustained a broken neck in the accident) eagerly brought
many newly penned songs to the meeting, which proved you can keep a band
down but not down for long.
With new enthusiasm, and healing physical wounds the group enlisted the
help of Robert & Dean DeLeo, best known as members of Stone Temple
Pilots, as producers on the project. As the band strives to make their
songs timeless in nature, “TruANT” yields itself a majority or strong tracks
which deal with betrayal of loved ones and the realization that life is
going to get really bad every so often, but it could be a lot worse. Working
those occurrences and realizations into an “ANT”-friendly formula was helped
along by the DeLeo brothers. Mitchell’s seemingly melodic screaming on
the tracks was helped an enhanced by Robert DeLeo’s ritual of preparing
Mitchell for the daily dose of cayenne pepper on the lower extremities
of the singer’s body. Yes, it is a bit bizarre, but the vocal quality and
strength in Mitchell’s performance on the CD is very evident.
For the most part, the CD is relatively strong in content. From a listening
standpoint of someone who may not be familiar with the band, every other
song seems to be where the band is their most unique and ear-captivating.
“1000 Days” blends a ska-influence with heavy guitar rock. With “Glow”,
the quirkiness of the lyrics and the melodies is very reminiscent of classic
Jellyfish songs. The CD’s first radio release “These Days” is what many
AAF fans are familiar with from the first CD, and undeniably recognizable
when hearing it on the radio. There are no returns of Michael Jackson remakes
on the CD. So, I am guessing the pets at Neverland Ranch won’t be eating
filet mignon this year. But a nice surprise of the Spanish infused track
“Tia Lupe” shows that the band not only has the vast musical influences
behind them, but they know how to incorporate them into a great song that
the fans will embrace.
For the record, “TruANT” is a good listen.
It is very rare to listen to an album and it be a good listen from start
to finish. And in some cases, either all the strong material is concentrated
in the front or the back, which leaves the middle tracks in limbo. However,
with the strongest of AAF material evenly spaced through the entire CD,
a first-time listener is more open to give all the tracks a fair shot when
hearing it for the first time.
Ant Farm - TruANT
to samples and Purchase this CD online
Alien Ant Farm's official homepage for more info on this CD and the band.
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