Up In The Attic review by Alien Ant Farm

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  • Released: Jul 18, 2006
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.6 (28 votes)
Alien Ant Farm: Up In The Attic
1

Sound — 8
The first association that comes to your mind when you hear Alien Ant Farm is Smooth Criminal and ...yeah, they have that fat dude on bass! Unfortunately it's not even nearly true now. Deadly tour bus crash in 2002, line-up changes, breakdown records, problems with a record label -- the black cloud left a mark on the mood and the relationship in the band. A few years of silence and a few persuading the record label to release the album, and Up In The Attics reached store shelves on the 18th of July under New door/Ume records and the slogan Alien Ant Farm strikes back!!!! After years of trying to grow up and mature in different directions, prove something to someone, Alien Ant Farm returned to what they started from. In Up In The Attics they tried to get back to the rocking formula that brought them success with 2001's platinum ANThology. Working on the album the band claims they managed to get back to the mood they were in rocking out in their bedrooms. To multiply the effect, AFF even returned to their original producer Jim Wirt (1999's Greatest Hits) and ANThology producer Jay Baumgardner (Papa Roach, Seether), who this time was in charge of mixing. Up in the Attics starts with a wake-up call in Bad Morning, which is pretty symbolic for an album aimed to be a wake-up call for the band and its fans. There are some crunchy guitar chords, some aggressive riffs as well as heavy-sounding solos. What I Feel Is Mine has some annoying guitar gammas. The first single Forgive and Forget is the catchiest song on the record, though not the best one. Around The Block can become next Good (For A Woman) and make a good soundtrack for any American Pie-like movie. There are some interesting melodies in some tracks, like in It Could Happen that features as well shotgun drums. The first part of the album goes back to the days of ANThology and can somehow be related to metal or hard rock, while the second part takes its roots in 2003's predecessor truANT and is mellow and much more melodic. This is not to say its not expressive -- probably the most eccentric track on the album is the closer She's Only Evil. At the end of the record Alien Ant Farms leaves a space for some fun -- I.e. a couple interesting hidden tracks. The first one has ethnic harmonies and wonderful bleating singing accomplished with a sound of Russian balalaika. The second hidden song starts as a chaotic impromptu that later on finds its form in some kind of a resemblance of an instrumental. These two are probably the biggest excitement of the album. Kudos to Alien Ant Farm, brave move!

Lyrics — 7
Are actually filled with some sense and can be called meaningful, being comprehensible at the same time. Good to know AFF didn't loose their sense of humor after they have matured (according to Mitchell). A lot of raw emotions come from Dryden Mitchell's passionate singing -- he reaches higher notes with a restrained voice, which works perfect for the hard rock part of AAF's image. But when it comes to lower tones, his vocals are pretty weak.

Overall Impression — 8
Seems like after a number of misfortunes and disasters that happened to Alien Ant Farm, the guys became superstitious -- they believe that with the new record they've got a chance for a second lease on life. Releasing Up In The Attics together with a DVD BUSted, the put big hopes on the buzz around their comeback. The hopes are not baseless, I should say -- even though Alien Ant Farm most definitely would never repeat the success of a Smooth Criminal, the current record is solid and will make a good competition to the rockbands on the market. Up In The Attics pretty much proves the fact the band's still got some fuel both to rock and have fun! They're just getting ready to tour in support of their third major label album, so watch out for them! (Though in the Tour section on their website there's a peaceful little ship now instead of a double-decker bus).

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    FOO-chan
    Love Anthology (not just Smoth Criminal), up in the attic is pretty good (Crickets is a good song)
    benthegrunge
    brilliant band. brilliant album. arguably better than anthology, certainly better than truant
    ernasty10050
    I never understood why AAF didn't get more spotlight time. They have so much to offer aside from one cover. This album was great.
    M45k1ngt4p3
    First of all, a band does not have to progress more technical to be better throughout each record. It's all in the conveyed feelings. Music is supposed to be about how putting how you feel into song form. If you REALLY listen to Alien Ant Farm's songs, and catch the melodies, you can tell that this was worked on for some time. I for one like all of Alien Ant Farm's records, they are all my favorite. I'm not really picky. ANThology had some pretty cool stuff on it, then they experimented more on TruANT, and finally Up in the Attic contains some new stuff I haven't heard them do yet. They deserve a chance. Dryden was crazy on this record.
    thebyccenter
    I like the record alot, its better than the second record! And I think it will come close to the first one! Cause every song on this record is very catchy! Man "Around the Block" is so far my favorite. Its so simple, they should have taken this song as they first single! I cant believe... why they dont have succes in europe! Forget about "Smooth Criminal", it was just a song to open the door for the big buisness. And with the album "truANT" they tried some different things, like every band is doing after few years. And to the comment from this guy "AAF_rules", hell no they dont rushed... they worked on this record almost 2 years! I really preciate what they have come out with. Thanks AAF! Keep rocking! -boo-
    AAF_rules
    Yea, as a huge aaf fan, UITA was sort of a letdown for me. You can feel that the album was rushed.
    elkabong306
    i am just now listening to the cd for the first time while reading this review, and i have to say i am not very impressed so far
    AAF_rules
    Go check out the Best Buy and Target versions....Best Buy includes another song called repeart defender and the Target version has acoustic versions of Bad Morning Sleepwalker and yes.....Smooth Criminal
    innerfirex
    the band lost chemistry since ANThology...but this album is still pretty good. they play sick ass live shows. they need tye (bass) and terry (guitar) back
    Sayahonami
    I've lost all my respect for this band- they used to be an inspiration to me and the guy who introduced them to me. They rocked- but they've become artless grunts. I liked the music on ANThology, it was original and clever as was the music. But Alas, I think this album- should stay up in the attic. -Saya
    scarfacesuit
    you don't have to be good to do one successful cover and the album goes platinum. that just means people liked the song and hoped they were a good band.
    xtract
    mmk, now that that attic contraversy is over, maybe we can focus on the music again.
    S2S
    That's actually incorrect, as the reviewer wrote "Attics" throughout the entire review.
    Jaymee
    their making it possession so they just missed the apostophe in ATTIC'S REVIEW.
    Eddy Hitler
    they arent anything. its just music , i cant define what it is. its not good enoug to be rock , not bad enough to be pop , what are they?