Three years might not be a long time in the grand scheme of things, but it seems like I've been waiting forever for this one. Possibly because Filter's last effort, Title Of Record, was so instant that a week after I bought it, it felt like my oldest friend. Or possibly because the band haven't filled the time with a half-arsed remix album and the Kerrang! TV viewers haven't flooded our screens with endless replays of 'Take My Picture' or even 'Hey Man, Nice Shot'. So The Amalgamut has been bubbling up for a while. And is it worth the wait? Does the Pope shit in the woods?
In many ways, this is the ultimate Filter album. It features, in approximately equal doses, everything which made Title Of Record great, the few things which made Short Bus bearable, and some forward motion. Most notably, the guitars are huge this time round, particularly in opener 'You Walk Away' and the ferocious, riff-led 'My Long Walk to Jail'. Guitarist Geno Lenardo plays a bigger role than previously, co-writing around half of the tracks. Richard Patrick is still the man, of course, but Filter are more of a band now, and they're much stronger for it. There's a sense of cohesion here that was somewhat lacking before.
'The Only Way (Is The Wrong Way)' and current single 'Where Do We Go From Here?' both showcase the beauty of Richard Patrick's singing, and provide a nice fix for the people who fell in love with 'Take My Picture'. On the flipside of the coin, 'American Cliche' and 'Columind' are hate-filled diatribes, led by Patrick's harsh screeching vocals and Lenardo's metallic riffing. Even at their most acidic, however, there's still that strong flavour of radio-friendliness that makes Filter stand out. 'So I Quit', perhaps the most vitriolic track on the album, contains enough brief flashes of pop chorus to make an excellent single. If it weren't for the opening cry of "Motherfucker!".
And as the album draws to a close, it's all change once more for the lilting, slightly eastern-sounding double-act of 'World Today' and 'The 4th'. Joined by a hypnotic mantra the two tracks complement each other perfectly, the first building to a huge crescendo and the second flowing through a series of moods before ending the album, eight minutes later, on a peaceful note.
9Nick Lancaster.'s Score