The Trouble with Angels
Hey man, welcome back!
Filter hit the big time with their second effort, Title of Record (released in 1999). If you thought that record was a long time coming after their 1995 debut, Short Bus – and I bet there’s more than a few that got into the band with the classic Hey Man, Nice Shot - well, it’s only been two years since their 2008 Anthems of the Damned album, but really, who remembers that? I don’t, and I dig this band. So really, for those who might have cared, 2002 was their last big thing with The Almagamut. An all new band appear behind Patrick for The Trouble with Angels - drummer Mika Fineo, guitarist Rob Patterson and bassist Phil Buckman. So this all begs the question - is this album a return to form the band or will this one slip under the radar like it’s predecessor and be largely ignored or forgotten?
It’s a bit of shaky start early on with the opener, The Inevitable Relapse, as the band utilise the overused auto tune on Richard Patrick’s vocals. It just sounds trendy as it’s so common in music these days and really doesn’t sit well with this reviewer from the get-go. Whilst that rot rears its head here and there throughout the track, Patrick still unleashes his trademark screams and the band kick into gear. This is the Filter that fans will love. Ok maybe not so much if you got into them with Take a Picture (from 1999’s Title of Record). Drug Boy and Absentee Father both continue that gritty, hard edged Filter of old whilst No Love is definitely a little more radio friendly for sure. The album’s ballad, the six plus minute No Re-Entry is fantastic - beautifully paced, great dynamics and Patrick pouring his heart out with his vocal performance. Great stuff indeed.
After slowing things a bit, the off kilter rhythms of Down with Me bring the album back to life with a rush and the song would easily be another hit single from the album. That’s the thing with The Trouble with Angels - compact songs with the impact of Short Bus and the appeal of those found on Title of Record - it’s the ideal balance. Catch a Falling Knife is no exception to this rejuvenated band either and the industrial edged title track, The Trouble with Angels is a real throw back to the band’s earlier days in style. The album rounds out with the solid punch of Clouds and the hauntingly gentle Fades Like A Photograph (Dead Angel) leaving you with little doubt that Filter are back in a form that’s been sorely missed for many years now.
It’s clear to say that this album is a return to form for Patrick and his cohorts. The songs are concise and return to the sound and style that made the band a household name many years ago. Welcome back Filter - we’ve missed you kicking our asses.
(Riot! Entertainment/Warner Music Australia)
More from Filter
- Very Best Things 1995-2008, The [review]