Heavier than the sun
WHEN industrial rock outfit Filter’s debut Short Bus came out in 1995, it seemed almost too progressive for grunge fans at the time with its meshing of studio programming and raw emotion. Back then, if Nine Inch Nails made you uncomfortable, then you had Filter to provide a more accessible entry-point when it came to industrial rock.
Eighteen years and five albums later, the "rattle the cage" sound of Filter is no longer a novelty, but there might just be a retro strip bar or two still tuned into this music genre.
Not that Filter’s attempts to move away from this metallic sound have failed. It has made diverse stops through its career.
Hey Man Nice Shot remains a college radio favourite, but most rock fans will remember the acoustic radio ballad Take A Picture from all those years ago.
On its new album The Sun Comes Out Tonight, we find Filter in fighting shape, to say the least. The thumping opener, We Hate It When You Get What You Want, complete with heavy riffage, is quite a blast. It’s pretty clear we have not seen the last of frontman Richard Patrick’s aggressive side.
What Do You Say keeps things heavy and bloodied, especially with its distorted vocals and venom. But when Filter attempts to slow things down – as heard on the mushy Surprise – you have to say things start to get seriously patchy. It’s not that Patrick does not have the songwriting chops and pedigree, but his "pop savvy" turns are simply bland.
Slowly but surely, the record drifts into a middling mess as the slick production takes over. Yes, the band runs through track after track with robotic efficiency.
Not to be harsh, we have to say The Sun Comes Out Tonight has its moments, and maybe some strip bars might be adding this album to their playlist.