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CD Review: FILTER – The Trouble with Angels

by on Jun.26, 2010, under reviews

FILTER – The Trouble with Angels
Rocket Science Ventures

9 out of 10

Richard Patrick first gained attention as the guitarist for NINE INCH NAILS. His only recorded material with them was on the end of ‘Sanctified’ off Pretty Hate Machine, but he toured/performed with NIN from 1989-93. He left NIN forming FILTER and released Short Bus in 1995. More rock than industrial, FILTER took off in a big way, but it wasn’t until their second album Title of Record that they gained huge commercial success with the single ‘Take a Picture’.
A full studio album and greatest hits compilation not to mention a plethora of soundtrack singles round out Filter’s studio work.
FILTER is back now with a new studio album The Trouble With Angels and from what I’ve heard of the new album so far (giving it a 2nd spin as I write this), the album is harder, heavier, more electronic than anything since Short Bus. Gone is the commercial gleam, and slick sound that permeated later FILTER albums.
The Trouble with Angels starts off with static laced am radio sounding vocals that kicks into a gritty guitar riff and the lyrics, ‘Come along Sally let’s have a break down’. This is ‘Drug Boy’, and it is as dirty and gritty as any back street dime bag shooting alley you can imagine. The demonic reverberated screams throughout the bridge would bring any fiend to his knees begging for sobriety and sanity instantly. A straight forward rock riff over laced with pulsating drums and a bass line that makes your blood simmer in your veins lends itself very well to the melodic chorus that FILTER has been known for. But this is no ‘Picture’ ballad. This is balls out FILTER at their best.
For the radio rock “we must have a ‘Take a Picture’ ballad” folks out there. FILTER offers up ‘No Love’ to you, but again, this is no overly produced slick sticky sweet ballad. Once the chorus kicks in, and the scream of ‘No Love’ rings out the teeny boppers out there might just switch the station. But that would be doing FILTER and this song a grave disservice. Sit back, give it a listen, and let the music and message sink in. You’ll thank me for it later.
No Re-Entry’ is a psychedelic tripalicious love scorn ballad complete with noise/muse rock keyboards filling out and flowing out (of) the song nicely.
Overall the album has a much heavier electronic feel than albums past. Drum loops, noise loops, and wicked vocal effects layers each song, making it impossible to get the full effect even after multiple listens. This is why this album works so well. You can’t get it all immediately. It takes several listens for you to get everything that happens in each and every song. This makes the album last. This is what makes a great album. Every time you put it on, you hear something new. The songs never get old, because you constantly are introduced to something missed in prior listenings.
I was a little hesitant when I first put this on as Short Bus was the pinnacle of FILTER for me. But I’m here to tell you that The Trouble with Angels may actually be two steps better and beyond their debut!
The Trouble with Angels will be released August 17th.

You can find all things FILTER, their new album, and upcoming tour right here.
You can pre-order The Trouble with Angels at here.

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