FILTER – CRAZY EYES (2016)
Release Date: 8th April 2016
℗ 2016 Wind-up Records / Caroline Australia
- Mother E
- Nothing In My Hands
- Pride Flag
- City Of Blinding Riots
- Take Me To Heaven
- Welcome To The Suck (Destiny Not Luck)
- Head Of Fire
- Kid Blue From The Short Bus, Drunk Bunk
- Your Bullets
- Under The Tongue
- (Can’t She See) Head of Fire, Pt. 2
The release of Crazy Eyes will be so monumentally exciting for a tremendous number of fans, with many happy to declare it is their album of the year. Old school Filter fanatics will likely be at the head of that expansive queue.
For me personally, and with all the respect I can muster for previous members, this is my very favourite Filter album ever released, and the most exciting. This is for a range of reasons, but first and foremost is that we have for the first time in a number of years, Richard Patrick let completely off the metaphorical leash, and taking complete creative command. The second most important reason is that despite taking a free reign, Richard has invested in the experience, knowledge and complete professionalism of former band members and collaborators in order to achieve something truly sensational, whilst remaining true to his vision.
Mother E immediately provides us with that well known and frightening door into the mind of Richard in full creative flight. By mid-track the listener is reassured that they are in for a tremendous journey of old school Filter discovery. As challenging and confronting as that concept may be, but it’s timely and desired by fans the world over.
Rich is a musical protagonist well known for his observation of contemporary world affairs, particularly in his homeland and Nothing In My Hands provides the early proof of that concept. The message delivered loud and clear and it is my sincere hope that the sentiments exemplified so brilliantly, will not fall on deaf ears. But the more we explore this brilliant album, ‘shit gets real’, and in fearsome form. Musically this track demonstrates the utterly perfect blending of old, and more recent releases into a sensational symbiosis proving that the electronic edge beautifully homogenised with the gutsy guitar accompaniment, are the way of the future for Filter. Amazing.
Pride Flag does however provide some hope amongst the contemporary life commentary, but it’s challenging to pull attention away from the magnificent instrumental work itself and enjoy the lyrics. But don’t get too comfortable with the sentiments of solidarity, City Of Blinding Riots will soon drag you back, enveloped in the lunacy we call life.
By the time Take Me To Heaven has you hopeful, you realise that every tracks on this release is incredibly catch, but for very different reasons. As you try and decide which song will haunt you for the days remaining hours, you begin to appreciate how long the works on this historic collection, were bubbling away in Richard’s cyclonically maniacal and supremely creative imagination.
Welcome To The Suck (Destiny Not Luck) has all power of anything released before, musically, vocally and emotionally. It’s utterly incredible how this track takes you from your state of merely enjoying a musical number and covertly, but quietly, envelopes you with darkened shrouds of an alternate conscious state.
Kid Blue From The Short Bus, Drunk Bunk is classic example of that brilliant blending of industrial rock and punk, resulting in a sensational Filter signature sound. A tumultuous tune of twisted psychosis, throwing you in this direction and that direction, creating a cerebral whirlwind for you mind to enjoy, and negotiate its way back to reality. Luckily Your Bullets provides the path of return. Just sensational and the sequencing of tracks is brilliantly executed. The mixing provided by Brian Virtue and mastering from Howie Weinberg, demonstrates beautifully that all involved with this creation were completely on board with Richards’s vision. This is right down to the assistance provided by Ben Grosse, who produced Title of Record and The Amalgamut, but this time from a more creative angle of critical assistance, rather that production. Richard produced this work himself, doubtless to maintain that creativity throughout, and that’s exactly what he achieved.
Under The Tongue and Head Of Fire Part 2 are both utterly amazing tracks, but that’s where I will reserve comment. I personally believe these tracks need to be experienced together to be completely appreciated, and in sequence with the remainder of the album. All I will remark is that by the time you are through, you head will be revolving, searching and seeking a path back to reality. Just play this monumental album again. I’m sure you will recover…in time.
To say that PledgeMusic and the direct access to fan feedback was a success, is an understatement. It seems abundantly clear that where Richard was compelled to go, and being driven insane by the barriers to his very creativity, doubtless haunting his every waking hour, were exactly was precisely what Filter fans were desiring. Bravura. Filter, this must be a tremendous vindication. And as for the world, Crazy Eyes is the most apt title imaginable for the content. Perhaps we will realise and take action.