"Hey Man, Nice Shot" was the satirical breakout single of '95. It was the work of Nine Inch Nail alum Richard Patrick and keyboard wiz Brian Liesegang working under the name Filter. The intense "Short Bus" album, recorded in Cleveland of all places, with the afore-mentioned "Hey Man, Nice Shot" blew the doors open.
Liesegang split during the "Title Of Record" sessions but Patrick pressed on and the album was released in '99. Featuring dense Punk and theatrical Rock, it spawned "Welcome To The Fold." "Amalgamut" arrived in '02.
Patrick began work on what was planned to be Filter's fourth album with former Limp Bizkit/Black Light Burns guitarist Wes Borland and ex-Jane's Addiction bassist Eric Avery. But Patrick's involvement in Army Of Anyone, with Stone Temple Pilots siblings Dean and Robert DeLeo, shelved work on the Filter project.
As Army Of Anyone's '07 tour concluded and the band was going on hiatus (STP had reformed), Patrick decided it was a good time to revive Filter. Recording commenced with Patrick getting help, once again, from Borland as well as Marilyn Manson/Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 and drummer John Freese.
Prior to the release of "Anthems For The Damned," Patrick announced that guitarist Mitchell Marlow and L.A. session drummer Mika Fineo were in the band. Filter then played a series of California club shows.
Produced by Josh Abraham, "Anthems For The Damned" landed in May, '08 with the lead single "Soldiers Of Misfortune." The "sardonic anti-war/pro-troops song" was inspired by a letter from a Filter fan serving in Iraq. The soldier, who was initially in the Army Reserves (to earn college money) prior to being called up, died in combat just a few days into his tour of duty.
Patrick called "Anthems For The Damned" "highly political." He added that the first three tracks, the aforementioned "Soldiers Of Misfortune," "What's Next" and "The Wake" were "straight-up industrial powerhouses."
In an early '09 interview, Patrick was quoted saying the band planned to release a follow-up "Anthems For The Damned" later in the year. He claimed their next album was "way meaner" than its predecessor. "It's gonna kind of veer off the political path," added Patrick. "I'm kind of focusing back on what I know best, which is kind of just the insanity of being a human being."
But "The Trouble With Angels" didn't drop until '10. Released to generally favorable reviews, the album rose to #64 on the Billboard 200 and to #7 on the Top Hard Rock Albums chart. Lead single, "The Inevitable Relapse," was initially a free download from the group's website.
Asked to describe what he wanted on Filter's sixth studio effort, "The Sun Comes Out Tonight," Patrick said, "(It was) something that was exactly like 'Short Bus' but done in today's world with today's technology."
Writing the album began in early '12 as Patrick worked with former Kill Hannah guitarist Jonathan Radtke, who had joined Filter in '11 as the touring guitarist. The set's working title was "Gurney And The Burning Books."
The addition of Radtke was offset by the announcement that drummer Mike Fineo and bassist Phil Buckman, would not be participating. "It was time for a change for us. Filter is not a band, it's a project," explained Patrick.
However, Buckman did play on "The Sun Comes Out Tonight," with touring drummers Jeff Friedl and Elias Mallin splitting the duties. Produced by Bob Marlette, who also worked on "The Trouble With Angels," "The Sun Comes Out Tonight" was initially planned as a self-released effort. But the '13 effort came out on Wind-Up Records.
Tim Kelleher, former bassist for Thirty Seconds To Mars, joined Filter later in the year.
Patrick stated that he planned on writing again the group's seventh album with Radtke, among others. But months later, Radtke announced he had left the band to pursue other musical interests.
Patrick also announced via Facebook that he would be collaborating again Liesegang and Ben Grosse, who produced "Title Of Record" and "The Amalgamut."
"Crazy Eyes" dropped in '16. "I wanted to go to some scary, weird places instead of doing that big-ass guitar sound again," said Patrick.
1995 Short Bus
1999 Title Of Record
2002 The Amalgamut
2008 Anthems For The Damned
2010 The Trouble With Angels
2013 The Sun Comes Out Tonight
2016 Crazy Eyes
2008 Remixes For The Damned
2009 The Very Best Things (1995-2008)
Filter's return was long anticipated and discussed. Usually, when that happens everybody gets set up for a big let down - but "Anthems For The Damned" lives up to expectations. The album portrays the trapped and often conflicted existence of soldiers fighting in Iraq - how they got there and the debilitating impacts of that war.
Going back, Filter's angst overload got off to a strong start with "Short Bus." The Techno-Metal blend is the group's best effort. Second album "Title Of Record" suffers from the apparent falling out between the group's principles. With Liesegang out of the picture the album drifts dangerously close to Metal-by-the-numbers.
Patrick recovers his footing with "Amalgamut" which has a handful of hard-charging Rockers. For some reason, the set's two best songs have to do with pedestrian activities, "My Long Walk To Jail" and "You Walk Away."