At a sold-out gig that showcased songs from the as-yet unreleased “truANT” album, Alien Ant Farm confirmed that, with the help of producers Robert and Dean De Leo of Stone Temple Pilots fame, they can pen timeless, hook-filled tunes while remaining an unremarkable band. While not complex or groundbreaking onstage, AAF’s new songs do show more staying power and less quirky, staccato goofiness than earlier writings.
A little lounge, a little punk, reggae and funk, Alien Ant Farm has a demonstrated proclivity for penning taut, musically mature songs with a pop sheen. Despite the talent, however, there’s a dearth of star quality in its performances and personae.
After “ANThology’s” “Movies” and “Attitude” early in the set, many new numbers — notably, the excellent “Sarah Wynn” and the edgy “Goodbye” –offered up strong backup vocals, gut-rumbling six-string bass and funk and reggae influences. Teasing the audience with the promise of “Smooth Criminal,” the Michael Jackson tune the band covered and turned into a hit, AAF first did a dead-on cover of Sade’s “Smooth Operator.”