In 1994, Nine Inch Nails was on top of the music world with its blend of cutting-edge technology and traditional hard-rock instrumentation. But band member Richard Patrick was not content. So, he left.
Now, Patrick heads Filter. The band’s first album, Short Bus, sold more than a million copies, fueled by the hit song “Hey Man, Nice Shot.” After two years of touring, the band took a needed break and prepared to write and record its latest album, Title of Record (Reprise).
A more mature band emerges in this album. Unlike most bands, Filter does not tie itself down to a particular genre. The band mixes fast and slow, heavy and soft, aggressive and sensitive. It draws from many influences that cover a wide range of sounds, including industrial rockers, the early 1990s grunge movement, hard-rock classics and 1980s heavy metal. Although some of these influences may dominate a single song, the influences never take total control of the band.
“Welcome to the Fold,” the album’s first song, is an aggressive, distortion-filled track that is sure to be a crowd favorite. A powerful guitar riff powers “Captain Bligh.” It draws from guitar-based bands like Led Zeppelin and combines it with modern technology.
On “The Best Things,” Filter sounds more like a drum-influenced band like Ministry. In the end, the band creates a great song to drive to. “I Will Lead You” contains the crushing guitar riffs that most bands lack. “Cancer” is a dark, bass-driven song that will bring audiences to their feet.
The band reveals a softer facade on the album. “Take a Picture” is mellow, yet contains some great guitar work. “Skinny” starts out as an acoustic track but turns into a slow, powerful rock song. The band finishes the album on the lighter side with “I’m the Only One” and “Miss Blue.”
In Title of Record, Filter’s band members turn up their guitars and crank out great cutting-edge rock. Filter is not scared to go to places few groups dare to go. The band proves acoustic guitars are for more than hippies and wimps. For rock fans sick of boy bands, nostalgia trips and artists sampling songs that were never good in the first place, Filter is a breath of fresh air. The band blends different influences and creates an album that will appeal to many rock fans.