CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - ADAM & THE ANTS - "KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER"
The whole package from sleeve, to inner sleeve (yes this was the vinyl age kids!), the free Ant Catalogue inside was like nothing I had seen before. This was a band I could be a fan of. They seemed daring, they talked about sex and being tribal but also being a fan was like being in a family, the Antpeople! The record blew me away at the time, and still gives me a great feeling upon hearing those tracks, a time of freedom of expression and no worries about wars or policial scheming.
The three hit singles from 1980 are here, the aforementioned "Dog Eat Dog", the anthemic "Antmusic" ("..so unplug the jukebox and do us all a favour...Antmusic!") and the title track which sums up the whole double drum thumping (courtesy of Terry Lee Miall and Chris "Merrick" Hughes) and tribal manner perfectly. The album is worth listening fro these tracks alone but there is a lot more.
"Feed Me To The Lions" has a very Punk feel while "Los Rancheros" is a fun cowboy-esque homage to Clint Eastwood complete with lots of twangy guitars and hollerin abound'!
Next up comes the brilliant "Ants Invasion", one of my favourite Ant tracks, its eerie Horror backing tells a story of an invasion, prophesying the band's few years' future domination of the charts perhaps?
"Killer In The Home" is a dark, but lyrically great song about Adam wanting to "free the warrior", maybe about when he needed to move on from early Punk and create something daring and new for others to follow.
"The Magnificent Five is another cowboy inspired song which asks the listener to "prick up your ears" and listen to these "five young hombres burning fire", and asking "which side of the fence are you on?". Probably meaning to the Press if you are with this new Antmusic or against it.
"Antmusic for Sexpeople, Sexmusic for Antpeople, get off your knees and hear the insect prayer". The words to next track "Don't Be Square(Be There)" which kind of says join the revolution in music or be left behind. Maybe also a nod to the old punks who said he sold out, but really he moved on and there was still elements of Punk in all Adam's music, he just adapted it. There is also a nod to Dirk Bogarde, "dirk wears white sox", which just happened to be the debut album's title which was incidentally a new, polished version of Punk.
"Jolly Roger", the pirate shanty follows with its singalong chorus and whistling and warnings of Blackbeard and the pirates of old. You could just imagine a crew of pirates singing this on deck with bottles of rum before setting sail.
"Making History" for me is the poorest on the album, it seemed rough and repetitive, not one of my favourites from Adam from all his albums in my collection. Proper filler in my opinion.
"The Human Beings" ends the album and its a strange one. "Blackfoot, Pawnee, Cheyenne, Crow, Apache, Arapaho" Adam sings repeatedly in an Indian Warrior mode, full of chants and minimal backing. It shouldn't work but it does, hardly any other lyrical content but the feel of the song really is uplifting and gives you a kind of proud feeling that you have joined the Antpeople tribe!