On Filter's third album, The Amalgamut, frontman Richard Patrick tells us what he thinks about the state of America today. The only problem is that what he has to say isn't all that interesting, and nobody asked him.
The Amalgamut isn't The Rising. Hell, it's not even Short Bus. And that's the problem. Patrick's ego is telling him it's still 1995, when the band first started collecting royalties for a song about a politician who shot himself in front of a live audience. True, the band scored a hit three years ago with "Take a Picture," a song about Patrick's misadventures on an airplane, but the fact remains that Filter were never a seminal alt rock band, and Patrick will still forever be known as Trent Reznor's former bitch (and the T-1000's brother).
There's plenty of quasi-politically relevant songs to be found on the ‘Mut: "American Cliche," "Columind" (guess what's that's about?) and "My Long Walk to Jail." Much like most of Filter's songs, they attempt to rock, but there's nothing to grab your attention away from the fact that there's probably a thousand other songs out there that sound just like these (Does anybody remember Stabbing Westward or Gravity Kills?).
Meanwhile, the album's lead single, "Where Do We Go from Here" acts as a mission statement… or a declaration of guilt, based on your feelings for the band. Either way, the answer to the song's titular question seems to be, "Let's pull a Sugar Ray and cash in on ‘Take a Picture.'"
Perhaps the album's two main offenders are the last two tracks, "World Today" and "The 4th." Both songs are based around alt-industrial chanting, the latter without words, the former solely "I like the world today" over and over. Ironically, "World Today" comes shortly after a pair of songs, "So I Quit" and "God Damn Me," wherein Patrick rages against the world and himself, respectively. But the world is neat.
VERDICT: Celebrities' opinions on September 11th and Columbine don't really amount to anything, especially celebrities mired in mediocrity. That being said, there's really nothing special about an album named after Patrick's theory that we are all of mixed breed in America. Because "So I Quit" and "American Cliché" rock just (and I mean just) hard enough to elicit some attention, The ‘Mut gets an E for Effort, but that's about all the credit it deserves.