After unjustifiably being damned by some people for their goofy cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," Alien Ant Farm re-surfaced in the summer of 2006 with a surprisingly strong album. Featuring a new guitarist, the cue-ball-headed Joe Hill, the band has significantly improved its sound while still keeping its staple positives - from tongue-in-cheek humor to a fantastic rhythm section - intact. Right from the onset, Up in the Attic delivers a surging introduction in the form of "Bad Morning," which begins with a raucous alarm clock and one of the heaviest introductions the band has recorded to date. Other notable tracks include the Christoper Walken-approved "Around the Block" (thanks in part to Mike Cosgrove's implementation of cowbell), the mellow "San Sebastian," the moderately-paced "Crickets," and the exclusive "Repeat Defender," all of which highlight the band at its best. With this album, Alien Ant Farm broaden their sound to appeal to a wider audience, and for the most part, they succeed, although there are a couple uninspired, lethargic tracks on here, and frontman Dryden Mitchell's vocals and lyricism are suspect in spots. Overall, though, this is an underrated album from a criminally-underrated band, although this album is the last for pudgy fan-favorite Tye Zamora, who left the band in order to finish pursuing his collegiate degree in bass performance.
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