Review: Ben Hosking
|At least in this country, Filter has never attained the level of success that they deserve. Besides a couple of chart-bothering flirtations with tracks like ‘Hey Man, Nice Shot’ and ‘Take a Picture’ way back in the mid-to-late 1990s, Richard Patrick and company have travelled unfairly under the radar. Hopefully the Cleveland, Ohio group’s luck will change with the release of their fifth studio album, ‘The Trouble with Angels’.
For those not familiar with Richard Patrick’s talent, take note: he began his professional career with industrial genius Trent Reznor as a touring guitarist
with Nine inch Nails between 1989 and 1993. After this he started Filter in 1995; Patrick’s bread and butter ever since – although certainly not his only musical preoccupation.
In 2005, Patrick joined the De Leo brothers (Stone Temple Pilots) in the disgustingly underrated Army of Anyone project, along with now-Korn drummer Ray Luzier. The talent displayed throughout all these projects comes to a head on ‘The Trouble with Angels’ – 10 tracks of hook-laden, memorable and dramatic rock songs.
Like most of Patrick’s material, the tracks on ‘The Trouble with Angels’ deal with dark subjects like desperation, hopelessness and the decay of family and society. One theme that seems prevalent throughout this album is the failings and absence of God and the death of angels – such as on tracks like ‘Absentee Father’, ‘The Trouble with Angels’ and ‘Clouds’. The other main recurring threads include personal downfall and drug abuse; like on tracks ‘The Inevitable Relapse’, ‘Drug Boy’, ‘Catch a Falling Knife’ and ‘Down with Me’.
You’d be forgiven to thinking that this could be a weighty, depressing listen; however ‘The Trouble with Angels’ is an inspiring record that will have you humming the choruses and melodies long after the disc has finished. I t boasts a superb range of dynamics thanks both to Patrick’s excellent song writing skills and his versatile singing voice that can alternate between almost spoken word and a shattering scream – seemingly at the flick of a switch.
If you haven’t already discovered Filter, ‘The Trouble with Angels’ isn’t a bad starting point even against the band’s excellent back catalogue. Existing fans will probably already have this on heavy rotation on their stereos; but if not, don’t hesitate a moment longer. You won’t be disappointed.
Review: Ben Hosking
How to Destroy Angels [EP] – CD Review
Vintage Nine Inch Nails Poster
from Jan 8, 1995
More Nine Inch Nails memorabilia is available from Wolfgangs Vault
Fender American Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar 2-Tone Sunburst Maple Fretboard