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Ant Farm

by The Zells

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $1 USD  or more


  • Cassette + Digital Album

    Special limited edition copy of the album featuring a UV print of the album cover on the A-side! Tape is professionally dubbed and features white factory imprint on B-side.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Ant Farm via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days
    edition of 15 
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD or more 


  • Cassette + Digital Album

    Smoke transparent cassette with white imprint.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Ant Farm via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days
    edition of 100  17 remaining
    Purchasable with gift card

      $8 USD or more 


  • CD
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Jewel case CD.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Ant Farm via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

Mankey 03:13
You are like a floating star above With my luck I’ll get enough before you fade True, the world won’t care if we all die But we try to find a life where we can stay But why does it always feel like we won’t be free No it’s not paranoia now The house always wins and there is no way out We might just rent until we die While the pigs feed on the flesh of all in sight In my life I will not hide I wanna wake up where I’m free So what could I possibly say when I can’t breathe What could be Don’t try to justify, I just need Truth
Dummy 01:38
Got scammed Ripoff artist on my block the other day Going fucking crazy This is shit, I’m gonna scream. I want to rip somebody’s head off but just feel really dumb. How could I be so clumsy? I need to be more careful, So I don’t get fucked over my whole life and die like a loser. The world’s pretty ugly aint it? You’re lucky. It’s not safe. I’m afraid now. But whatever. I’m not trying to ask for nothing. I’m not changin, any habits. So forget that. You’re not the boss of me now. You’re not the boss of me now
Sitting at the bar Staring out the window I count the cars to pass the time When I’m alone I left the store To mind the window Watch all the loops Inside my head Stare at my phone That’s not to say I don’t care to listen I’m out to lunch I hope to god It won’t be long It won’t be long Nowhere to run You call out No one knows Your name It stays the same That’s all I really know Center of the circle Or I’m against the wall Tripped up again I am face down In my backyard Waiting on an answer Wishing on a star Two ways to waste A life I hope it won’t be long It won’t be long Nowhere to run You call out
Man Rose McGowan liked my haircut I wanna talk to her but I’m too fucked up Jawbreaker is the good stuff Damn I think the whole cast of The Craft‘s here I haven’t seen it in like 3 years Skeet Ulrich drank 12 beers Weird. Hanging out by the bench She said The Dawson was a bad time Everyone was a bitch I said “Was that just last season? I love that show!” She was shaking her head Sighed through her cigarette smoke Said she was tired of the people left in this town Everyone’s afraid to lose it all And she don’t even want to be at this house But they got blow So… Talking about all of her plans She was running out of options I had to understand I heard a voice from behind me All raspy and low I knew it from somewhere Was it Scream or The Crow? That stupid, wasted fuckin bastard started laughing Told me that my hands were really small And after that, he tried to call her “baby” She said “Fuck you! My name’s Nicole.” You don’t call me On it I fought Skeet Ulrich The handsome skeeze - ya saw it? I fought skeet Ulrich You don’t call me On it
The Upside 02:05
Sunday Morning Got me feeling Empty again Well I’ve been feeling Older all the time now I’ve been feeling older All the time Watching Myself Watching the world go by My window I’ve been feeling older All the time now I’ve been feeling Older all the time As you well know It’s uncomfortable We don’t let that show (Repeat of first stanza) Alright! Drop me in the trash I’ve got imagination I can use I’m looking for the upside I’ve been feeling older All the time As you well know It’s uncomfortable We don’t let that show
JME 05:20
Spit out your broken teeth Peel your face off the concrete Follow the beaten path Or you will face our wrath Bright lights to wake you up It’s never long enough Close your eyes and count to ten Step back and ask again I was tripping over words Must’ve sounded so absurd When did I get home Don’t remember breaking glass Wonder how much time has passed When did I get home Another myoclonic jerk Answered with another greedy smirk It’s all I’ll ever know Wish I had the cash to blow On a dose or two of depakote It’s all I’ll ever know Bada ba ba ba Bada ba ba ba What a life to live Slipping through this sieve You know how this ends We are not your friends We know just where to stab A wound that never scabs Lost in epileptic haze Losing track of time and space When did I get home Woke up in your arms again Hope this is a passing trend When did I get home I believe that you believe A homicidal ideology It’s all we’ll ever know Now there’s nowhere left to go Just suicidal ideation and snow It’s all we’ll ever know You better get a grip Cause you ain’t changing shit No need to face your fear We’ll take it all from here Buy our 80 dollar pills Ignore electric bills Close your eyes and count to ten And never ask again
Don’t know how it got to here I just thought Life wasn’t as cruel as this A sick joke Paraphrasing how I feel Trying not To laugh at the rivers that divide How I wish I could be there with you now Some things that I can’t express out loud How it made me feel that time Just put to the back of my mind Ate some shit now my stomach is twist to knots Don’t think that I’m getting off of this one But hey jack that’s ok We’ll pay em back on another day La la so free But when I think of freedom my head just hurts Fell into another grift You got got Take a breath and reassess Are you sure Defending a sunken world Is it worth Selling your soul for body The ever changing the parameters of life Selective consequences I can’t abide by You said it’s in my head I disagree but hey that’s cool You’re just not used to it I’ll feel your pain And when I get my mind around all the patterns I promise I’ll come find you Don’t trust a thing they say And just remember you know that I’ve got eyes all over my body I can see all ways, it still makes no sense to me
Payday 02:31
Paycheck clears at 12:43 I’m getting fucking loaded I don’t mind, I don’t mind, I don’t really mind Net worth just less than 800 Could it get any better Where’s it go, where’s it go, where’s it really go And it feels just like a movie (Break the bars I gotta win i gotta get more And send the wolves to fend for themselves) Loan payment got me down again Now I’m overdrafted (what the fuck) What’s it worth, what’s it worth, what’s it really worth The wind just tears right through the cracks Condemnation living Tony comes, Tony comes, Tony always comes (Throw it away to the side, wonder why...)
Hell Car 01:58 video
I was the king Now it’s sadly passing Vote for me All the ants go farm the dirt With the eaters stalking Just like always Run for their lives You should be the president since everybody wants you to die Used to spend my whole life dreaming man, now I barely close my eyes I want some rain Maybe we can wash away To another If you lead me to my fate I’ll be extricated They’re gonna cut my legs off They’ll probably break my arms They’ll probably cut my head off
Yeah I don’t mind if I Don’t get it right Make a plan and follow through Take it in to be with you Cause it’s alright To feel like When you realize Your effervescent’s always fading These things take time I’ll be fine But in real-time life Can take you for a ride And it seems like I Didn’t make my Head in order grow up true Not a care for what to do If it feels right It might be right Will you decide To chase the ghost or call it early These things take time I’ll be fine But in real-time life Can take you for a ride
Waking up, it’s hard enough to get my- Self out of bed right now Everything is lost and lacking core Predetermined by design I don’t like that cause who needs it To breathe in something freeing A mind at peace Pull your head out of your ass Nothing in life is free You suffer and toil until you die That’s how it’s always been What? Do you think you’re better than history? Yeah there’s a hope in me To break the chains And pick up the pieces and proceed To move ahead (Make time) Don’t second guess (Burned by design) Some things in life (Decide) Are left best not to be repeated (Left best not to be repeated) This house is broken no foundation at all Living on borrowed time The paintings hang crooked on the walls Been tacked down for ages now Cause why would we address it Comfort godhead supreme A life at ease Not so simple yet Everything has a price And no we can’t guarantee it all That’s just the breaks there kid You should have been born in a different class Fuck that I won’t relent Or compromise No I won’t give in I will continue The fight (Defy) Take my whole life (Deep down inside) To refine (Revive) Grew a spine so I can chase what’s right (A spine so I can chase what’s right
Hard Reset 01:59
Headlights point home Driving through country - it’s dark on her own Dreaming of tattoos, monsters, and Spring It was a room It was a message It was part of everything She stands alone - alone, alone. Watching the line slowly die on its own Only his paintings smile while they sing It was a room It wasn’t real It was part of everything These things Are feeling out of context She would’ve sweared she’d go before And still she wonders What it looks like Where he’s breathing Where he’s painting Oh, she’s sure That they have to Give you time out on your own just to explore ‘Cause if not, it’s a ripoff drugs can’t explain And the world falls apart Without taking any blame (well) She doesn’t know - she knows, she knows. Love ain’t enough when it comes time to grow There’s a light in my room: now I start to see It was only just to show me. She don’t owe me anything.


Having released projects titled Failure to Slide and No More Heroes, The Zells were already fluent in despondency before the storm of 2020 hit — so for once, something went right for these guys. The Pittsburgh quintet’s sophomore LP, Ant Farm, is not just their best, most refined, transfixing, and emotionally seizing project yet, but a uniquely articulate statement about our generational plight. Twelve songs that capture the nihilistic bleakness of toiling in an era of historic social inequality while the very institutions we’re indebted to crumble into the dusty terrain of a world that's burning toward its apocalyptic conclusion.

The band — guitarist trio Frank DiNardo, Jackson Rogers and Phil Kenbok, bassist Roman Benty and drummer Tyler Gallagher — take turns singing about the dejected purgatory of struggling to get out of bed while simultaneously losing the capacity to dream. It’s the sort of downwardly mobile existentialism that could be yelled with a hardcore fury or strummed beneath mawkish folk coos, but The Zells use indie-rock as their medium, flipping a genre that's historically been a playground for well-off kids to opine about their dorm-room insecurities into a microphone for working-class ennui.

Building upon their singular mesh of sounds — slumped-neck indie-rock, fizzy garage-rock, defiant post-punk, and puffy-white shoegaze rips — the gang drafted a personnel sheet of basement indie who’s who’s that doubles as a useful RIYL list. Adam Reich (Titus Andronicus), Jordyn Blakely (Smile Machine, Bartees Strange, Stove, Maneka), Davey Jones (Lost Boy ?) and RJ Gordon (Baked, Titus Andronicus) make musical cameos, while Gordon engineered and mixed the whole shebang and Big Ups’ Amar Lal mastered it. The Zells have been and always will be proudly lo-fi like their idols in Sebadoh and Guided By Voices, but the songs on Ant Farm sizzle, pop, thrash, and moisten the eyes in a way their previous recordings didn’t, and that's largely thanks to the sleeker, roomier production.

Most crucially, it’s the elevated songwriting maneuvers that make Ant Farm feel like the album the band have spent the last half-decade working toward. “Mankey” and “Finnerty’s Dream'' bask in The Zells’ comfort zone of Dinosaur Jr.-esque sheets of washy guitar noise, while “Payday” and “Hell Car” careen with an angry fervor, the latter boasting the spectacularly snotty mic-drop, “You should be the president since everybody wants you to die.” The inherent business of their three-guitar attack is toned down just a notch on these tracks, giving way to brilliant post-punk builds like the one in “JME,” a motorik gnashing about the “homicidal ideology” of a healthcare system that makes us choose between paying the electric bill or another dose of mood-stabilizing medication

“Truther Uncle” struggles to find sympathy in the worldview of a conspiracy theorist with valid motives but questionable conclusions, while “Suffer and Toil” coughs up hard truths — ”Nothing in life is free/You suffer and toil until you die/That’s how it’s always been/What? Do you think you’re better than history?” — and then washes it all down with a resilient “woo” and a sick guitar solo. There’s levity in this album, too. “Bryan Ray Trout, 1999” is an awesomely weird fantasy about hanging with Rose McGowan and getting in a fight with a drunken Skeet Ulrich, and every line is catchy enough to be the best hook they’ve ever written. “The Upside” is quite literally that, a strikingly beautiful folk-pop life crisis (“I’ve been feeling older all the time now”) with a weepy harmonica wail.

It all ends with a “Hard Reset,” the GBV-ish closer that offers up a double lesson in power-pop perfection and the frigid orthodoxy of Lady Liberty herself. “It was only just to show me, she don’t owe me anything,” Benty repeats with a chipper, nasally sing-song — and then it ends. Nope, not a damn thing.

- Eli Enis, @eli_enis


released June 3, 2022

Adam Reich: slide guitar on “Finnerty’s Dream,” harmonica on “The Upside”
Jordyn Blakely: backup vocals on “Payday” and “Suffer + Toil”
Davey Jones: backup vocals on “Finnerty’s Dream”
RJ Gordon: backup vocals on “JME,” pedal organ on “Call It Early”

Team Z is:
Roman Benty - vox/bass
Frank DiNardo - vox/guitar/drums/keys/glock
Philip Kenbok - vox/guitar/
Tyler Gallagher - vox/drums/guitar
Jackson Rogers - vox/guitar/keys

Produced, Recorded, engineered, and mixed in 2021 by RJ Gordon (Baked, Titus Andronicus) and Frank DiNardo at Adam Reich's Second Base Studios in Brooklyn (Founder of Shea Stadium). Mastered by Amar Lal (Big Ups) at Macro Sound in Oakland, CA.

Cover Art by: Phil Kenbok


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