Richard Patrick strikes me as particularly bitter about the state of the music biz these days. Both times I saw the band in concert on their last album cycle (2008’s Anthems for the Damned) — at an intimate record release show at NYC’s Mercury Lounge and at a giant amphitheater opening for STP — he seemed to be having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that his audience was older now and no longer moshed / visibly got into the music / cared as much. I read an interview yesterday in which he was complaining that fans were complaining that albums were too expensive at $10. Dude, $10 is too expensive when you consider that the CD prices of yore were so high because they had to be manufactured and shipped (and yeah record companies were greedy) and that a [paid] digital download presumably cuts some of those costs out of the equation. And that recording technology is waaaay cheaper these days than it used to be. Times have changed, dude. Sure, the industry is way different, but so is the musical climate. Sounds to me like sour grapes… Filter ain’t as big as in their ’90s heyday, so Patrick blames it on the industry.

It’s too bad though, because I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for Patrick as a singer, songwriter and performer. Anthems of the Damned was a bit underwhelming, especially for a supposed comeback album, but I’m midway through listen two of new album The Trouble With Angels and I gotta say it’s pretty good. The big, heavy, chunky, drop-D riffs that made 2002’s The Amalgamut so strong– my favorite Filter record — are back in full force, and Patrick’s songwriting muscles seem to be flexed just a little tighter than on his previous affair. But mostly it’s the heaviness that I’m welcoming back with open arms. If you were a fan of Filter’s first two records or the aforementioned Amalgamut, definitely give this one a shot (and don’t let the lead single “The Inevitable Relapse” lead you astray… ’cause, ya know, it’s the radio single). It’s even got small traces of Filter’s industrial past. Patrick’s got four album tracks streaming on Filter’s MySpace page – “No Love” and “Catch a Falling Knife” are my personal faves. Sure, The Trouble with Angels doesn’t really tread any new ground for Filter but no one was expecting it to, including Patrick.


three out of five horns)

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