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Rock - Released April 14, 1995 | Craft Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 24, 1999 | Craft Recordings

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Rock - Released April 8, 2016 | Wind-Up Records

Two decades after Short Bus and Richard Patrick is nostalgic. On Crazy Eyes, Patrick reintroduces the ominous energy from the early industrial-leaning releases and sprinkles in references to former associates Nine Inch Nails (former NIN member Danny Lohner even makes an appearance). Backed by new bandmates, he fully embraces Filter's sonic legacy -- whether by direct homage ("Kid Blue from the Short Bus, Drunk Bunk") or familiar aural recall, like with the low rumbles of "Hey Man, Nice Shot" on "Under the Tongue" -- without getting stale. Over 12 tracks, Patrick assesses what he calls the "insanity of the human condition." That sentiment is first explored on "Mother E," a heavy bruiser about a mindless killer that ramps up the foreboding anxiety before exploding with a roar. It takes a minute for Patrick to shake the rust off his vocal cords, but once he does, it's business as usual. After that slow-builder, the NIN-fluence trickles in on "Nothing in My Hands," which rides a menacing bassline through the digital haze, with stabbing guitar riffs that would be at home on Broken. Patrick wrote the song about the Michael Brown shooting and subsequent Ferguson riots that engulfed the Missouri city in 2014 and 2015, and it's not the only time he gets political. On "The City of Blinding Riots" he revisits Ferguson and commands protesters to "burn that f*cker down" atop a throbbing dance beat akin to a NIN or Gravity Kills remix, while on "Pride Flag" he waves the rainbow banner against religious bigotry. As far as Filter goes, it's quite uplifting. Things get personal on "Take Me to Heaven," a radio-friendly blast of straightforward rock & roll about Patrick's late father. The cathartic track is catchy, but wanders too-familiar ground. Like "Mother E," the most interesting forays tend to be atmospheric and spacious, when both Patrick's rage and yearning can tussle together in the same song. "Welcome to the Suck (Destiny Not Luck)" channels the mecha-drama of Downward Spiral's "Reptile," infusing huge Inception-style stabs to jack up the intensity. A pair of blazing assaults in the second half of the album ("Tremors" and "Your Bullets") pummel, but are elevated by a midsong orchestral break and a pretty falsetto, respectively. The action effectively ends after "Your Bullets," as Crazy Eyes closes with the aforementioned space jam "Under the Tongue" -- the only collective writing effort by the new lineup -- and "(Can't She See) Head of Fire, Pt. 2," a haunting acoustic sequel to "Head of Fire" and one of three songs written with early producer Ben Grosse, former member Jonathan Radtke, and Michael Tuller, who worked on NIN's The Slip. Less politically on the nose than the poppy Anthems for the Damned, more mature than the easy retread of The Trouble with Angels, and more visceral than The Sun Comes Out Tonight, Crazy Eyes manages to tread new ground for Filter while respectfully acknowledging the sound that propelled the band in the first place. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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Rock - Released August 24, 1999 | Craft Recordings

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Rock - Released June 4, 2013 | Wind-Up Records

Filter survived the various slings and arrows slung at them during the new millennium, proving that they still had an audience by getting both 2008's Anthems for the Damned and 2010's The Trouble with Angels into the Top 100 of the Billboard 200. It was enough to get a major label interested, and 2013's The Sun Comes Out Tonight popped up on EMI, which explains some of the slickness of the album. Surely, there is still a bit of ballast -- the album opens up with a roar on "Burn It" and it occasionally circles back around to this processed, distorted rush (witness the self-lacerating "Self Inflicted," the closest this album gets to "Hey Man, Nice Shot," or the almost parodic "This Finger's for You") but generally, The Sun Comes Out Tonight skews toward the shimmering, melodic end of adult-alternative rock, a sound that fits Filter's age if not their reputation. That said, the smoothness that permeates The Sun Comes Out Tonight is not entirely out of character for the group: there is a modernity to their production and intent, especially in how the group never pushes, even letting their surges seem soothing ("This Finger's for You" bears a confrontational title, but it feels friendly, even with its jacked-up volume). Where Filter fall short is in how they retain the patina of Hot Topic, how they still seem to chaff against the inevitability of their maturity, but underneath that blustering, the group manage to ease back and act their age, and that detached cool exterior is why The Sun Comes Out Tonight is the most satisfying latter-day album this group has yet made. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released July 30, 2002 | Craft Recordings

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Rock - Released March 31, 2009 | Craft Recordings

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Rock - Released July 30, 2002 | Craft Recordings

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Dance - Released March 28, 2017 | Nettwerk Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Show Dog Universal Music

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 24, 1999 | Craft Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 24, 1999 | Craft Recordings

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Rock - Released July 29, 2014 | Wind-Up Records

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Rock - Released June 3, 2014 | Wind-Up Records