Comeback Of The Year
When thinking of one hit wonders, quality is not a word that really comes to mind. Lucky, “good timing” or “catchy” generally are the terms associated with these 15 minutes of fame. A comeback for one of these acts is a non-existent wish in hopes of regaining some earlier buzz. However, what if that one hit wonder was the listening audiences fault? What if everyone missed the point? The year was 2001 and the band was Alien Ant Farm. Their cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” helped Anthology, the bands second release, go platinum. The video has amassed nearly thirty million views, and in essence, it made Alien Ant Farm the prototypical one hit wonder. What the majority of listeners missed was a catalog of great songwriting and attention worthy singles.
What most people also do not know is the band has been maintaining a steady tour schedule that extends into this fall, as well as plans for a new release. Through Pledge Music, the band has already surpassed their goal with three months left to go and are set to release their first new material in five years. Some demos have surfaced here and there, but there is no clear indication of what the record will sound like. AAF is eternally linked with “Smooth Criminal” and it will take nothing short of a glorified smash to rise above it. Excluding that song from their catalog, you would be left with a decent selling band that would have done well for themselves at that point in time. Today’s standards for an alternative leaning rock band have certainly shifted, but AAF has a few things on their side. With the rising success of reunion tours of your favorite high school bands, AAF will benefit from this trend in a viable attempt to stay relevant Having the record already over funded will ensure a comeback is in tandem with a new album.
In the end, the strength of the first single will make or break Alien Ant Farm. A song that can get into some regular rotation and notoriety on the radio will give them a new lifeline. Of course one single will have to be followed by another, etc., but it should build enough of a buzz to keep people wanting more. Everywhere they turn, new attention will be met with comparison to their cover, but milking that cannot hurt a veteran band like themselves. If all else fails, it will be another great band, crushed by the weight of one hit, out for a final hurrah. Alien Ant Farm will be one of the best bands no one has really listened to.
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