Listen Up: Wednesday, August 29, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Filter

The Amalgamut (Warner/Reprise)

By PJ Gach

Filter’s third outing, The Amalgamut, is lead singer Richard Patrick’s experimental foray into sociology. The album is supposed to reflect Patrick’s observations about the changing landscape of the American psyche and the mall-ization of the country. How does it stack up? Well, the tune “Columind” is — excuse me — how many years after the fact? But it’s a nice antidote to the band’s first big hit of a few years ago, “Hey Man, Nice Shot.” Musically, the opening tune, “You Walk Away,” has a very Korn-ish sound. Lots of loud thrumming guitars and drums. But deep social significance regarding the dialectical experience of postmodern society? Nah.

The Amalgamut bounces between hard-edged songs and softer laments — “Where Do We Go From Here,” “The Missing,” “The Only Way (Is The Wrong Way).” The way the record bounces back and forth, from hard to soft, is noticeable and disorienting. While the album itself is uneven, the 11 songs taken as separate entities work well. It’s as if The Amalgamut were a singles import disc.

The despair of modern life, the wretchedness of man against man, the soulless wonder of the universe — they’ve all been evoked before, and more eloquently, by other artists. Patrick was at one time a member of Nine Inch Nails, and the influence of NIN frontman and avowed nihilist Trent Reznor shows up all over the disc (not in a good way). The hidden track at the end of the c.d. is either an homage to Philip Glass or the band’s attempt at something, anything, intellectual.

BTW, the album contains nifty film footage of the band in the studio and on the road, plus music videos and a short film. A multiplex in your computer.


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