Nov 2013 11

Filter - The Sun Comes Out TonightFilter
Category: Industrial / Alt. Rock
Album: The Sun Comes Out Tonight
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: With a welcome heavier emphasis on the balance of gritty electronics and alt. rock, this latest album from Filter is as angst-ridden and abrasive as ever.


Since the band’s formation 20 years ago, Filter has been a reliable voice for the jilted and jaded due in no small part to Richard Patrick’s blistering screams and straightforward lyrics. As the band’s music has balanced modes of underground forms of music with mainstream staples, Filter has presented elements of industrial and alternative rock in varying degrees. After the 2010 release of The Trouble with Angels, one of the band’s more consistent albums, Patrick sought to take Filter into even more aggressive territory, and with The Sun Comes Out Tonight, we hear the results.

Stylistically, The Sun Come Out Tonight presents a return to the aesthetics of the project’s first release, Short Bus; performed entirely by Patrick and Jonathan Radtke without the aid of a live drummer. As well, the album presents a heavier presence of programmed sequences and electronics than we’ve heard from the band outside of remixes. The first most immediate example is opening track “We Hate It When You Get What You Want” as a scathing synth riff and stomping dance beat gives rise to Patrick’s enraged vocals in the chorus, the guitars finally appearing and launching the song into classic Filter territory. Other tracks on the album follow suit like “What Do You Say,” which easily could have been a track from Short Bus with the slow dirge of the verses transitioning to the explosive chorus in a manner reminiscent of “Hey Man, Nice Shot” or “It’s Gonna Kill Me.” As well, there are tracks like “This Finger’s for You” and “Watch the Sun Come Out Tonight” with their interplay of bright arpeggios and rapid fire guitars, the vocoder effects in the latter giving the song its catchy pop quality without sacrificing the edginess. Lyrically, Patrick is as abrasive yet as personal as ever, touching on feelings of society’s betrayal and failure and still battling his own personal demons. With “Self Inflicted,” he speaks to a victimized generation espousing the “You made me do this to you” mindset of a killer, while the piano ballad of “It’s My Time” presents a melancholy perspective of facing a wrongful death, and the speedy “It’s Got to be Right Now” and the dreamily shoegazer-esque closing of “It’s Just You” relate to the instant, fleeting gratification and emotional isolation of drug and alcohol abuse.

While some may finds Filter’s insistence on the inclusion of lighter songs like “First You Break It” and “Surprise” to be contradictory to the overall angst and heaviness, they do well to offer a respite from the virulent energy while still presenting a deeper substance to Patrick’s lyrics. Ultimately, this writer finds the greater emphasis on the balance of electronics and rock to be a welcome shift that does remind of the project’s ‘90s output and helps to strengthen Filter’s musical aesthetic, though it’s arguable if the general tone of the project’s music has changed. As a result, there are those will listen to The Sun Comes Out Tonight and find it to be no different from past albums. However, there are enough nuances in production and performance from Patrick and Radtke exhibited on this album to keep one returning for multiple listens and proving that Filter still has much fuel to its fire.
Track list:

  1. We Hate It When You Get What You Want
  2. What Do You Say
  3. Surprise
  4. Watch the Sun Come Out Tonight
  5. It’s Got to be Right Now
  6. This Finger’s for You
  7. Self Inflicted
  8. First You Break It
  9. Burn It
  10. Take That Knife Out of My Back
  11. It’s My Time
  12. It’s Just You

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Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Amazon Vinyl
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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