From the getgo in Crazy Eyes, Richard Patrick makes it VERY clear that this will be a heavy industrial rock record. His vocals are throat punishing, beats are heavy on the synths and I am reminded of Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, and the best material from Stabbing Westward. To be honest, I’ve enjoyed most Filter albums, even the ones that have had lukewarm receptions, a reality due to maybe a misplaced track or two at best, since I think Patrick has been ridiculously consistent in pushing the Filter sound.
Will this album change lives? No. But saying it’s not solid would be silly. At almost 49, you’d think his voice would be shot, but instead he provides some of the most ripping vocals to date.
Mother E begins the album with a march-worthy thump a thumping song. It’s a statement more than an excellent track and sets the tone for what you should expect. This is followed by Nothing in my Hands, a synth heavy song with great variety and structure. I like how the track builds and definitely is a solid classic Filter track with lots of electronic flourishes and great whisper-to-scream vocals. Pride Flag then rips your head off and is definitely one of my fav tracks on the album. It is like a bright version of the droning robot metal of Static X with the wailing vocals of Richard Patrick. Soaring riffs and some great chord progressions makes this one of the better Filter tracks in a long time, heavy on the electronics and an example of what he said about taking the guitars back a bit to let the electronics shine. City of Blinding Riots then pumps in and I can only describe this as a dance music to fight to. Honestly, I can easily see this song used for an MMA highlight reel. After this you have Take me to Heaven, a song that even though its material is very personal is very accessible, has awesome guitars and a great chorus. Definitely a highlight track. And this is followed by a song that sends chills through me, Welcome to the Suck. This track is definitely one of the darkest songs by Filter. It sounds as if it came from some Hollywood soundtrack as the lead character looks atop a huge robot that has just devastated a city. This is as big as a song can get and if Guillermo del Toro includes it in the sequel to Pacific Rim, I shall not be surprised. A thumping bass beat dominates the first 1:08 of Head of Fire until the guitars scream in (solid though not stellar track, though). Tremors is another thumping electronica driven song that echoes NIN, with brighter notes and ripping vocals. Kid Blue from the Short Bus is another solid rocking song with loud guitars and louder beats. Your Bullets kind of follows the same vibe of the prior track, good, but not great. Then comes Under the Tongue which is a kind of fun track that might have been good if it went anywhere. Good to showcase the band live, but not much else so consider it a 6 minute intro to the final song Can’t see (Head of Fire Pt. 2). Although a nice closer, I wish it had more beef. It actually reminds me a bit of a band called Sunna. I actually like Patrick’s gentler side when it floats on by so although the right call to close, just short of the mark.
1. Mother E
2. Nothing in my Hands
3. Pride Flag
4. City of Blinding Riots
5. Take me to Heaven
6. Welcome to the Suck
7. Head of Fire
9. Kid Blue from the Short Bus
10. Your bullets
11. Under the Tongue
12. Can’t see (Head of Fire Pt. 2)
TOP Tracks: Nothing in my hands, Pride Flag, Take me To Heaven, Welcome to the Suck