Hey, look, Alien Ant Farm are back! The noughties heroes, who brought us top 5 singles ‘Movies’ and their brilliant cover of Michael Jackson‘s hit ‘Smooth Criminal’, have put together their first new material in 5 years by the means of a pledge campaign and, although ‘Always And Forever’ isn’t going to be invading any club rock night DJs set lists any time soon, it’s a welcome return for the California band as they enter the circuit once again to prove there’s still life in them yet.
It’s been 2 years since first single ‘Let Em Know’ was released to the world and shows features of the old Alien Ant Farm with heavy bass and the feeling that Dryden Mitchell has that great big grin across his face throughout. Behind all the humour and fun that the band clearly have, they’ve written some truly excellent songs in the past, and haven’t been afraid of trying different approaches.
‘Homage’ is a game of ‘spot the reference’ as Mitchell list off the names of everyone from ELO to The Eagles for a piano lead radio rock track that lands AAF in new territory, but very effectively. The slower tempo allows a moving and heartfelt aura to surround the song without it being a straight out ballad, and is sure to go down well upon release.
The band have taken riffs to the Sun and back in the past, but they seem to have taken a back seat as a focal point in ‘Always And Forever’. However, Terry Corso is making sure his spotlight is shining brightly as he takes to monster solos during ‘Godlike’ and ‘Burning’, with the former track being a seriously heavy hitter in terms of the album.
Corso‘s presence for the album is as crucial to the record as Mitchell‘s and would have been ideal as the four original members started the album process together, but the departure of eccentric bassist Tye Zamora midway through hit them as a big blow.
Generally, ‘Always And Forever’ is a very good homecoming for Alien Ant Farm. A few tracks could have possibly been left out to make it a more complete listen, but there’s more than enough to compliment a live tour and mix it up with the classics. Perhaps it could have been improved with an ANT themed title, but the AAF initialism will have to suffice for now. It’s good to see the band back to lighten up the industry once again.
Written by Michael Heath (@MikeBeef)