8 May 1995 (Reprise)
Though I’ve had Filter’s debut in my collection for close to it’s entire 20 year existence, I just realized the other day that I’ve probably only listened to it a half dozen times.
Then I put it on and realized why. It’s one of those albums with a few killer tunes, but when you let it play through most of the tracks blend into each other. I’m not saying it’s a bad album, but it could use a little more variety.
Unless you were deaf for the second half of the nineties you’ve heard the opener “Hey Man, Nice Shot.” It was featured in the movies The Cable Guy, Tales From The Crypt’s Demon Knight and even made it onto an episode of the X Files. I’m not sure if Congress passed a law to give Filter more exposure or if it’s just that the song rocks so hard. It is without a doubt the best track on the album. Going from that slow, quiet bass driven verse into the screaming-myself-hoarse chorus is a huge kick in the pants that makes me want to slam dance just thinking about it.
I also really like “Dose,” but I think it’s mostly just for the line “I hate it when you preach your case, it makes me want to stick my dick in your face.” One of the highlights of the album is those sort of juvenile lyrics about genitalia and hooks featuring the word ‘asshole.’ “Gerbil” is a solid track and “Stuck in Here” breaks things up by being an acoustic track, but overall it sounds like a full version of Nine Inch Nails’ Broken with more emphasis on guitars. I was thinking that I really liked the album closer “So Cool,” but I actually had that confused with “The Missing” from The Amalgamut.
Honestly, I feel bad giving Short Bus such a bad review. I really like Filter and I always have, but they definitely didn’t have it all together right out of the gate. I haven’t listened to their most recent releases, but Title of Record and The Amalgamut were much better albums. If you’re looking to get into this band, I’d start there.
And you have to give Richard Patrick some props for going out on his own and emerging not only from Trent Reznor’s gargantuan shadow, but also achieving success away from his brother, T-1000 Robert Patrick. I can’t think of a lot of sidemen who have left successful bands to have successful careers. Dave Grohl and the Eagles are the only exceptions. Even Patrick’s band mates in Army of Anyone (STP’s DeLeo brothers) have never managed to have any sort of success very far away from Scott Weiland.
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