Unsung Masterpieces: Filter- Short Bus


The early 90’s were a great time for bands. There seemed to be a huge creative explosion. Albums had substance, grit and provoked raw emotion. I could talk about certain bands all day like Nine Inch Nails and Alice In Chains who embodied such traits. One band that came out in this era and had all that in their debut album and that was Filter. The band was formed when Richard Patrick left Nine Inch Nails just before the recording of The Downward Spiral, and formed a new project with Brian Liesegang. Their debut album Short Bus combined industrial and hard rock. The live band was rounded out by Geno Lenardo, Frank Cavanagh, and Matt Walker. Short Bus has now gone on to sell over 1 million albums thanks to the success of “Hey Man Nice Shot.”

Kicking things off is “Hey Man Nice Shot.” This song is great, it has that quiet bass rumble start then explodes with force and Richard Patrick’s signature scream. “Dose” continues with the powerful riffs and heaviness and adds bits of melody. “Under” has a scratchy guitar intro that blends perfectly into a sort of industrial/dance beat. Lyrically and vocally it’s heavy without compromising the melody. “Spent” is another song that has the quiet to loud structure dialed in. “Take Another” uses the distorted bass line to really get the song going before getting to grit of Richard’s vocal delivery. “Stuck In Here” is a stripped down song that shows the true vulnerability of the group. It’s subtle in the way it pushes the albums direction as well. “It’s Over” follows the outro of “Stuck In Here” to a building verse then when the chorus comes, it opens up in a louder realm. “Gerbil” is solid heavy rock track. “White Like That” has a great intro leading into Richard’s voice then goes into subtle chorus. “Consider This” is another track that could almost foreshadow what would ultimately be their sound on the next album. Ending the album is “So Cool.” This song really slows things down and brings the album to an end with it’s string arrangement.

Short Bus is an album that often gets overlooked just like the band. The sheer creativity and artistic expression is vert prevalent on this album.  Sadly, when their second album “Title Of Record” came out and “Take A Picture” exploded on the radio, it seemed that Filter had lost what they once were. Luckily as time went on, they brought back elements of Short Bus into their albums. Especially on The Inevitable Relapse and their newest album The Sun Comes Out Tonight. Filter is and has been a great live band and solid songwriters. Richard Patrick has one of the most unique voices in the rock genre. This band deserves their due. Take a listen back to Short Bus and you’ll see what I mean.



By: Brian Lacy

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