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Trying their dandiest to wipe away the stigma of being that Michael Jackson cover band or that band that had a tragic bus accident, Alien Ant Farm's latest release UP IN THE ATTIC doesn't do much musically to differentiate the band, even though a new guitarist and bassist have been employed. Containing remnants of their rejected Geffen album before being dropped by the label in a downsize shakedown with some new tracks, this 14-track offering stays the course, conveying the same alternative metal mix with a few twists and turns along the way to keep listeners on their toes. Tracks like "Around the Block" rocks whimsically with cowbell in tow, while "Lord Knows" demonstrates the band's comfort zone, sounding like the hits that were previously released on either of the band's albums. Wistful lyrics (a near death experience will do that to a person) and dominant fretwork are staples here, yet there's a all too east to digest redundancy hovering over UP IN THE ATTIC that plagues the disc from reaching the heights of neighboring acts like Incubus, despite highlights like the ska beat surprise adorning "Consti2tion" and the fancy eight-minute affair of "She's Only Evil".
- Mike SOS