Alien Ant Farm
ANThology


4.0
excellent

Review

by Joe Denby USER (17 Reviews)
June 19th, 2009 | 134 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Personal, engaging, Alien Ant Farm craft their most immature and yet most imaginative work in a complex album with diversity progressing far further then "Smooth Criminal" might have you believe.

Artist: Alien Ant Farm
Album: ANThology
Release Date: March 6, 2001


Around the world, people hold horrible misconceptions of Alien Ant Farm. When your only major success was a poppy Micheal Jackson cover with a forgettable "party muck-about" feeling video, it's easy to see why people perceive AAF as one hit wonder, unimaginative party-pop group. But they're not. Anthology, as AAF's debut, marked a significant musical contribution far apart from the throw away Smooth Criminal single, with sterling musicianship and creative, meaningful songs.

Anthology is a very personal, individual album owing a lot of its uniqueness to Dryden Mitchell, who carves a rememberable niche as a good vocalist with surreal lyrics and peculiar pronunciation. Throughout the album, we see Mitchell effortlessly shift through vocal medium, from the raspy, short breath bursts in "Wish" to the eerie, spaced out half whispers of the hidden track after "Universe" but he usually chooses to flex his more anthemic muscle and surprise everyone by being a legitimately good singer. Mitchell also separates himself from others by talking about regular everyday issues, relationship problems etc. and carrying them off with abstract metaphors and generally thought out and analytical lyrics. If you're looking for political motivation or anything beyond a personal level, you're screwed, but that's clearly not what this album's about.

In terms of instrumentals, the stand out of the band is undoubtedly Tyre Zamora as bassist. Anywhere in any song, you'll find Zamora working his six string bass (and sometimes upright acoustic) to its fullest, with off key tempo changes that flit between being completely separate to the rest of the song (yet still blending well and not over excelling) and simply merging with guitar and drums to give the aspired effect, which makes it in my mind a shame that AAF chose to down-tune the bass. It's still definately audible, but it can get occasionally lost in the guitar, which is a shame considering the pure quality and proficency Zamora is so consistently performing. This isn't to understate Terry Corso as guitarist however, considering his often ambiatic and climactic overlays and what I find to be successful expansion, such as the driving, fast paced riff in "Attitude". Mike Corso's drum pieces have never inspired enough interest in me to note their effect, though he's certainly solid, providing the backbone for the other three more extrovert musicians to work off.

ANThology as a whole shows to be a complex and diverse album, ranging from such soft, melodic pieces as "Sticks and Stones" and "Death Day" to the outright intense rock in "Courage", you'll find this album caters to most crowds in some way, if only for sparse portions. The only really discernable theme is AAF's standard "big build-up to rock out at chorus", which I can't gripe at, considering it's just a debut album playing to the band's known strength and AAF's further releases show them progressing past this. Really, this album will never win awards as the best at anything, time has shown it fade into obscurity and out of people's minds, superceded by better or more popular options, but it's still a personally engaging and unique album, with historiography hopefully eliciting it more recognition.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
pneumoniahawk93
June 19th 2009


275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is awesome, and so under-appreciated. AAF were a great band!

PanasonicYouth
June 19th 2009


7412 Comments


This.... Is alright.

Titan50
June 19th 2009


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Was surprised by this album, is actually really good. They just chose shit singles

Wish is ace

DirEnRefused
June 19th 2009


2190 Comments


Na man, Movies is still awesome, it just had an equally stupid video.

Titan50
June 19th 2009


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Was a good song, just not the best choice for single

SmurkinGherkin
June 19th 2009


1769 Comments


Ahhh smooth criminal was an awsome cover, still the only song i have ever listened to from this band.

Phantom
June 19th 2009


8930 Comments


I need to listen to this again. Courage is nicer dicer.

Romulus
June 19th 2009


8443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I dunno what you guys are talking about, the Movies video is pretty epic

Phantom
June 19th 2009


8930 Comments


Shit the bed, it's Super Grover.

iranscam
June 19th 2009


469 Comments


album is prtty good

DaveBum69
June 20th 2009


699 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

have an old burnt copy of this some where, it is very underated but theres some real bad song on here, attitude is amazing and there bass player is just awesome

Captain North
June 20th 2009


6791 Comments


I have an acoustic of movies which is alright, but not that good. Smooth Criminal is awesome though and much better than Wacko Jackos original.

ReturnToRock
June 20th 2009


3448 Comments


this is not their debut. it's their MAJOR LABEL debut, but they have at least one album before it, called "truANT" (yes, they really like horrible ant-related puns).

that said: "annie are you okay, you okay, you okay annie, annie are you okay, okay, you okay annie, you've been hit by, you've been struck by, a SMOOTH CRIMINAL!!!" tada-dadadaDA-dadadaDA-dadadadadaDEE!

Romulus
June 20th 2009


8443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

truANT came after this one

Titan50
June 20th 2009


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They had a "Greatest Hits" before this one

ReturnToRock
June 20th 2009


3448 Comments


truANT came after this one


yes it did. my bad.

ConorMichaelJoseph
June 20th 2009


1870 Comments


AND JUST LIKE
THE MOVIES
WE PLAY OUT
OUR LAST SCENE

BigHans
February 16th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Movies ftw

AtavanHalen
March 23rd 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Attitude just came on shuffle. What a great song.

731
August 14th 2010


662 Comments


yeah.



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