Filter's second album doesn't strain
After a four-year hiatus from the world of industrial music, the proto-metal band Filter has stepped back into the thick of the modern rock movement with "Title Of Record," its second major release.
Following the success of its platinum-selling debut album "Short Bus," which included the controversial single "Hey Man, Nice Shot," Filter toured endlessly while building a firm fan base both stateside and abroad.
Frontman Richard Patrick and company return to use "Title Of Record" as a storybook to describe the happenings of their lives over the past four years while daring listeners to take a musical journey with Filter's weapons of choice — fast-paced guitars and electronica rhythms.
The second track, "Welcome To The Fold," sets a driving pace for the rest of the album with biting guitars and strong vocals which fit all aspects of the song's struggle between frustration and dependency. At just less than eight minutes, Patrick has carefully constructed a reflection of his personal philosophy as well as a theme for the album: No one is going to tell me what to do. "You got your Jesus / And I got my space / You got your reasons / And I got my case," he proclaims in the first verse of "Fold."
The album is packed with other high-intensity songs like "Captain Bligh," a song influenced by the classic tale "Mutiny On The Bounty," and "It's Gonna Kill Me," a piece which resembles "Hey Man, Nice Shot" in its basic framework.
However, when the album seems to be filled with other guitar-heavy riffs and beats, it takes a surprising twist with, of all things, an acoustic set.
"Take A Picture" truly shows the band's vocal and musical maturity over the past four years by telling, with acoustic guitars and percussion, of a chance encounter which provides a moment of clarity for Patrick. The final two tracks on the album, "I'm Not The Only One" and "Miss Blue," are hypnotic in how they blend several instruments with the painful lyrics of a man dealing a crumbling and lost relationship.
Despite the vocal maturity found on "Title" and the incorporation of new instruments — mainly the cello, trumpet and acoustic guitar — into a sound which has been laced with bass and guitar walls, the disappointing facet of the new album lies in Patrick's lyrics.
The majority of the album employs lyrics involving self-pity and unconquerable despair. Patrick's use of repetition in his songs drives home his points, but more often than not adds little to the actual content of the message.
"Title Of Record" shows Filter to be a much better band than they were after the release of "Short Bus." Patrick and crew have started focusing much more on the quality of the lyrics and music on their albums than ever before. If the band continues to mature like it has for this album, it's scary how good their next album might be.
All Scene Stories for Tuesday, September 21, 1999