Alien Ant Farm / (hed)p.e. / Sumo Cyco

Warehouse 23, Wakefield on Tue 18th Oct 2016

We've been waiting a while for this one! Despite catching AAF when they toured in January and at this years Download Festival, the home town gig for a lot of us here in Wakefield is a big deal! We are loving the fact that a lot of bands these days are not heading for the usual venues and instead just going off the beaten track, and Wakefield does itself proud tonight.

We miss Kaleido but I imagine they are similar to this next band, a young female fronted American group with Japanese sounding metal pop tracks (like 'Open Your Eyes'). Sumo Cyco are also on the opposite end of the age scale to the two headlining bands tonight, who were about in the nineties and early 2000's. Fronted by a feisty young lady by the name of Skye Sweetnam they are definitely an engaging metal band! The engaged ones are at the front, joining in with the moshpits she is creating. A few of us are chilling at the back, and even there we are not safe, as she comes and pulls us to the front. I go to the bar at the back, turn around and she's jumped on it! No escape! I'm like "Look luv I just want a peaceful drink…" If her mannerisms at times didn't remind me so much of Miley Cyrus I could have been more on board, it just seemed a bit too in your face for me. Maybe I'm an old git when it comes to newer music? They would go down awesome at a festival like Download I recon.

The music is tight and catchy and ranges from metal to a bit of a similar sound to Skindred. They also cover 'Give It Away' by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. 'Fuel my Fire' is a rousing song to finish on. A cool young band that I hope will not be a short lived fuse.

I feel really stupid now, as I appear to be the only one here who does not know of (hed)p.e. and their punk and gangsta rap mash ups. The crowd are loving it, front to back. Frontman Jared Gomes has them in the palm of his hand, and I like his use of the melodica in the other. His various styles of vocal performance too range from screaming to rapping to growling with some melodic singing thrown in. We are treated to new and old songs which flow seamlessly together, despite them varying from punk and metal riffs to gangsta rap and bits of reggae, ska an hip hop. A very versatile band! I do wish I would have heard of them back int' day but I don't think at 14 I would have been able to turn it up to 11 at home! 'Bartender' is a hit my friends who say they don't know them are actually singing all the words to…

Alien Ant Farm in Wakey! A true gem of a steal. Tonight they play ANThology in full, which makes my job here a little easier! The setlist is true to the album, bar the last track which has to come the very last. They start on stage to an unplugged recording of the hidden track 'Orange Peel'. Unfortunately due to Wakefield's pretty rubbish last public transport times the room empties by a third at the end, maybe a curfew of half an hour earlier may help folks out in future? Anyway that's a rant for elsewhere, just a shame to see a place so buzzing reduced a little, especially when it's for their cover of Michael Jackson's 'Smooth Criminal'. Just before this at the end of the encore from 'TruANT' they play the catchy 'Glow' and 'These Days', the video for which saw them hijack the Black Entertainment Awards carpet and earn them an arresting time.

The album highlights are 'Attitude' dedicated to singer Dryden's mom back in San Francisco. 'Movies' as its number two on the album gets an airing too early but it's also a good thing, starting a pit that soon. My favourite (from it's place on my copy of the former's B-side and of course Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3 game) is the heavier 'Wish'.

It's a shame bassist Tye Zamora left as I used to listen in awe to his complicated basslines, but Tim Peugh is more than capable of playing them and bounding about. Terry Corso (unsure how he keeps a hat on when it's so warm!) and Mike Cosgrove on drums complete the huge sound, with Dryden sometimes pitching in on guitar on the slower tracks.

Here's to more gigs like this in Wakefield, and more Alien Ant Farm in the future, another of the underrated nineties band full of talent that definitely should have had more than two hits.

Flesh And Bone
Sticks And Stones
Happy Death Day

These Days
Smooth Criminal

article by: Danielle Millea

photos by: Danielle Millea

published: 19/10/2016 14:47

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