FILTER
TITLE OF RECORD

If you want a good album to rock-out to then title of record is for you. But if you're in need of motivating self-esteem, then this might not be a good choice.
-Review by Bob Messer
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This page was created on March 01, 2000
This page was last updated on May 23, 2005

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FILTER
title of record
Filtered records

I recently read an article on FILTER that suggested a style of music I truly have never heard of before... Neoindustrialist. What-ever I sez. Maybe I can describe FILTER's sound in my own words, 'today's heavy metal', well, maybe not.

I've listened to this record on headphones and on my huge house system with the 12" mains and the 15" subwoofer and I've got to say, "THIS ROCKS!"

Every instrument is well heard, the vocals are right out front but not overbearing. The album starts out rocking and doesn't let up until you reach track six, which is the big radio single.

After 'Take A Picture' the music mellows a bit with the song 'Skinny', but then picks back up again with 'I Will Lead You '. 'Cancer' takes a while to get going, but ends in a driving beat of melodic vocal bliss. The last two songs are slow grooving and thought provoking (in a let's get high, sixties, seventies sort of way).

The overall emotional tone of the album is bitterness and loneliness. Although the first song, 'Sand' mentions the word Jesus, its in a negative and sarcastic way. The chorus also suggest to "...sit your self down to contemplate, get yourself an ice cold beer and drink yourself away." This song simply addresses the personal space issue which is very popular in society today. 'Take A Picture' sends me into a dreamy state with lyrics like "Awake on my airplane",and "Could everyone agree that no one should be left alone."

This is also my favorite pick of the album. Its got that rain in the summertime feel to it.

'Take A Picture' echoes emptiness and longing, but it has an alternate meaning for me personally. It reminds me of when we shed our old skin, the skin of sin. When singer/songwriter

Richard Patrick repeats the line, "And I feel like a newborn." I think of how great it feels to be born again in Christ. To accept Jesus means to die to this world and the things in the world, and to rise above those things which can just end up destroying us anyway.

If you want a good album to rock-out to then title of record is for you.

But if you're in need of motivating self-esteem, then this might not be a good choice.

Filter's 1995 hit "Hey Man, Nice Shot" was a timely combination of grunge heat and industrial ice, raw emotion riding a steel pulse of digital rhythm. The breakout moment on Filter's otherwise unremarkable debut album, Short Bus, "Shot" raised a ruckus when it was widely -- and, according to Filter, incorrectly -- interpreted as a sardonic tribute to Kurt Cobain. But no matter what it was about, the single was significant as much for its sonics as for its disturbing imagery.

In the four years since, a new breed of neoindustrialists (Orgy, Stabbing Westward, Gravity Kills) has tried to incorporate some of grunge's emotional directness, its world-weary sensuality, into its music. On Title of Record, Filter singer-guitarist Richard Patrick builds on the "Hey Man, Nice Shot" dynamic with an expanded arsenal of musicians. It's an album that finds the band in transition -- Patrick's collaborator, Brian Liesegang, left after the release of Short Bus -- and at a crossroads of modern rock, wiring industrial not only into grunge but also folk, world beat and psychedelia.

Patrick understands that the initial groundbreaking beauty of industrial rock -- at least as tattooed into the underground consciousness by Ministry's The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste (1989) -- was how it enthusiastically embraced ugliness. Soon after, Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor introduced a new element to Ministry's dehumanizing assault: a sadomasochistic, rubber-suited sexiness. As an alumnus of Reznor's touring band and a resident of Chicago, where Ministry continue to spin ever more noxious variations on the Wax Trax sound, Patrick can't escape their influence.

But whereas Ministry's Al Jourgensen does everything he can to mangle his natural voice, and even Reznor often sounds less human than his machines, Patrick is clearly enamored with the soul-baring wail of Cobain. Patrick is the most expressive and daring of the new industrial rockers, the most willing to expose the vulnerability that lurks behind the jackboots and black leather trench coat. On Title of Record, he sometimes sounds like he's getting in touch with his inner Jeff Buckley, conjuring the tortured croon and aching romanticism of the late folk-soul vocalist.

"I feel like a newborn. . . . I feel so real," Patrick sings, swooping up to grab a falsetto note, over the coffeehouse guitar strum and percolating percussion of "Take a Picture." It's a genuinely pretty moment on a record that positions Patrick not as a bilious aggro-rock mouthpiece but as a postindustrial singer-songwriter, an introspective craftsman as comfortable with an acoustic guitar as he is with a computer.

With the departure of Liesegang, the Filter sound is that of a rock band augmented rather than guided by electronic textures; the melodies are as crucial as the beats per minute, and Patrick is at his best when he lets his pop instincts guide the tunes in unexpected directions. He blends Eastern percussion, acoustic guitars and Revolver-like harmonies on the intoxicating "Miss Blue," gently unraveling its layers to reveal the damaged emotions at its core. "Skinny" breaks up its oppressive atmosphere with acoustic interludes; "I'm Not the Only One" is a wounded meditation that simmers menacingly before going up in flames; and "Welcome to the Fold" juggles bludgeoning verses with dreamy choruses before slipping behind the looking glass during a neopsychedelic midsection to inhale some magic mushrooms.

Unfortunately, Patrick tends to focus on the downward side of his spiral, and his lyrics never stray far from the self-pity motel. Most of the songs are psychic razor blades dissecting failed love affairs, with the singer starting off the album on a booze-and-pills bender and ending it on his knees, begging for a second chance. Along the way, self-esteem takes a beating: "I am a blood-soaked man"; "I am a beaten man"; "I am a guilty man"; "I am a cancer"; "I am a lie."

The unvarying tone and total lack of humor weigh on the music, so that Title of Record at times lives up all too well to its depressingly generic title, merely rehashing the Jekyll and Hyde dynamics that have become alternative rock's creative downfall. On Filter's first album, Patrick made a habit of ratcheting down his voice into a Cobain-lite growl, and he's guilty of the same affectation here. "It's Gonna Kill Me" tries to recapture the eerie magnetism of "Hey Man, Nice Shot," while "Captain Bligh" is the type of third-hand grunge that made stars of Creed and Seven Mary Three. "Cancer" meanders too long before gaining momentum, and "The Best Things" is defanged goth grunge, its guitars muted, Patrick's voice detached, its clattering electronic percussion picked up cheap at a Wax Trax clearance sale.

Once Patrick gets over what's-her-name, though, there's no telling where he might go. With Short Bus, Filter sounded like the latest and lightest in a long line of industrial-rock bands, but Title of Record expands the possibilities. It puts the emphasis on the song and the voice -- still-developing artistic muscles that Patrick should be encouraged to flex even more flamboyantly and with greater originality next time. (RS 820)

 

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FILTER
Subject: U2 and FILTER
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003
From: "jeanette"

I love both of these albums. I need to listen to more of them. I\'m a singer song/writer also. My website is:www.parsadanian.com
You\'ll hear all 12 of my songs on my site. My husband is a Pastor of the church of the living word of God in L.A. 4427 W. Pico
Blvd.

God bless you. My CD is also on Amazon.com under \"I love you for who you are\".

In His Love, Jeanette

KINDA SCARY
Subject: Did you know...
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000
From: Steve

I went out and bought "Title of Record" cause your review said it was great. it's pretty good... but if you fast forward the last track to about 18:30 (or somewhere around there) you hear some weird things. 1) Profanity and complaints 2) Numerous screams 3) Jibberish 4) and someone saying that they found something underground i was wondering if you could backmask it and find out what they are saying cause it's kinda scary. just wanted to let you know.
steve

GREAT REVIEW BOB
Subject: Music Review
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000
From: alice

Hey, Bob! Great review. It is obvious that you have listened to the tracks. God's speed in keeping up with the latest. By the way, what do you think of that new group, PCC Worship Team? Just curious.....smile. I'll be checking in to see the latest. Ta-ta.

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