On My Playlist: Top 5 Alien Ant Farm songs

Alien Ant Farm
Alien Ant Farm

They may have a peculiar name and be most famous for covering a Michael Jackson song, but Alien Ant Farm is far from just being a one-hit wonder.
The band is currently on its first South African tour to showcase their rock repertoire to old-school fans and new fans who are seeing or hearing them for the first time. The group currently consists of Dryden Mitchell (vocals), Terry Corso (guitar), Tim Peugh (bass) and Mike Cosgrove (drums).
Honourable mentions: ‘These Days’, ‘Stranded’, ‘Flesh and Bone’ and ‘Glow’.
5. Wish
Mitchell’s signature voice is on full display in this fast-paced number that starts off with a dark sounding riff that progresses into a palm-muted part in the verse. The chorus is also memorable as Mitchell sings in a style similar to rap/rock.
The song has a real Deftones feel to it and the band truly pulls this harder and more aggressive number off. ‘You live the pompous life. Throw kisses all the time. Make wishes don’t break mine,’ sings Mitchell before going into the chorus: Don’t be low, you better watch the road. Don’t be low, you got the strength and the balls. Chimes used to break my wish.’
The track really moves into another gear halfway through the song as some hard-hitting screams just add to the song’s overall intensity as Mitchell screams ‘wish’ in combination with a softer ‘yeah’ backing vocal bouncing off each other perfectly.

4. Attitude
This is definitely one of the band’s most emotional and personal songs. It focuses on a broken relationship and the constant cycle of wanting solitude and companionship in a relationship.
Here, Mitchell does a great job of putting as much emotion into his voice as he can in the softer verses and choruses. The verse, ‘And all the time I wasted away. I don’t feel good unless you stay. And all the times I chased you away. Simply to catch back up with,’ is a perfect example of this.
The song’s shining light is its dreamy guitar work in the intro and verses with some brilliant melodic guitar picking from Corso and solid drumbeat from Cosgrove.

3. Movies
‘Movies’ mixes pop-punk sensibility with an alternative rock edge to create a stellar track from their album, Anthology. The opening riff gets you into the song right from the onset and the smooth delivery of the verse sucks you further into this track. This is one of the band’s best-known songs about relationship issues and the use of movie elements in the lyrics and the overall theme is a clever one. The chorus of ‘I want you to be free. Don’t worry about me. And just like the movies. We play out our last scene,’ truly stands out once again, together with the softer melodic bridge. The lyrics in the bridge: ‘if we make a little space. A science fiction showcase. In our short film, a love disgrace. Dream a scene to brighten face,’ are some of the best that the band has written yet.

2. Smooth Criminal
This is, without a doubt, the song that gave Alien Ant Farm instant mainstream popularity and their cover version pays great homage to Michael Jackson’s hit number. The intro guitar is just perfect and, once it hits, you know what is coming.
Mitchell’s fast-paced vocals to the beat of the guitar are also excellent and the ‘Annie, are you okay?’ chorus, complete with high-pitched, Jackson-like vocals, adds to this exciting and fun cover. The summer soundtrack of 2001 is still a lot of fun to listen to and is definitely one of the better rock cover songs of pop hits. The solo and fast-paced guitar work of Corso and the high-pitched ‘woos’ are also another great part of the bridge. Turn back the clock and listen to this song!

1. Courage
This, to me, is the best original Alien Ant Farm song that incorporates a number of epic elements that, in turn, showcase each member of the band to the full. The main riff from Corso is simple but effective, Mitchell’s vocals are on point and the bass and drums add an edgy platform that the song rides on. The message is strong throughout with the lyrics: ‘Contrary to the matter. Who you are, you are not. Come with me, I’ll show you Saturn. Planets don’t quite align,’ being the best throughout.
An awesome song, overall, with a great pace between louder and softer vocals and a memorable chorus of ‘I never said you were a mistake at all. You got it all wrong, you’re misunderstanding,’ is sung with such passion and repetition that it is bound to stick in your head.



Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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