en: Truant (album) [info]
Alien Ant Farm are back with their second album. They've always provided a refreshing change from other nu-metal bands. Unlike their angst-ridden counterparts, they just don't seem to take themselves seriously. This was ably demonstrated by their surprisingly good re-working of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" in 2001. It could have been a novelty record, but it only served to highlight that AAF are more about the music than your typical tortured rock-god attitude.
Sadly tragedy struck the band in May 2002. Their tour bus collided with a truck, resulting in the death of their driver and serious injuries to the band (including a broken neck for vocalist, Dryden Mitchell). Naturally there were doubts as to their future. But the band refused to be beaten and the new album was completed exactly a year to the day after the accident.
Produced by Dean and Robert DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots), TruANT is at times more melancholic than debut ANThology, particularly demonstrated through Mitchell's lyrics. The band have matured musically, experimenting with other musical influences. For example "Tia Lupe" features a rather successful jaunt into the Latin quarter.
Despite the odd reflective moment, their cheeky charm is still very much in evidence in what is a very consistent album. Next single "Glow" is unmistakably catchy and upbeat whilst opener "1000 Days" provides a punchy, rousing start. Like much of the album, this track is reminiscent of early Faith No More. Indeed "Rubber Mallet" even pays homage to Faith No More's "Falling to Pieces" including the virtually copycat lyric, "Indecision breaks my vision".
Given that Faith No More also erred on the irreverent side of rock, it seems fitting that they should be considered influences for AAF. Mitchell and co. once admitted that they basically 'like to have a good time and be goofy'.
Despite the bus crash ordeal the band haven't changed. TruANT is the sound of AAF enjoying themselves - and I'm sure their fans will enjoy it too.