Review Summary: While Hey Man Nice Shot and So Cool are epic; the rest of the album falls short and all sounds the same.2 of 3 thought this review was well written
Filter is an interesting band forming up from Nine Inch Nails' Broken, and is the best; from the famous single 'Hey Man Nice Shot' to the pop single off of Title of Record, 'Take My Picture', Filter managed to fuse mainstream rock and industrial rock. Many people knew of the song 'Hey Man Nice Shot' with it's major radio play, but not many people knew of the disc, nor the band. Filter is one of the bands you can credit for bringing industrial rock to the mainstream. Their records Title of Record and The Amalmagut were awesome and Short Bus should not be looked over. While being a good album on paper, Short Bus suffered from poor production, and it being too much of the same.
Filter's sound fuses perfectly with Richard Patrick's voice in a way that will not be touched. While not as good of a lyricist as Trent Reznor, or gifted musically as Reznor, Richard Patrick's Reznor-influenced music should not be passed up. This record's biggest drawback is that every song can be grouped easily together with any song. Almost every song has the same industrial atmosphere. I can attempt to find uniqueness in a song, but in almost every song Richard Patrick's vocals have that distorted sound and the atmosphere is spread around. Short Bus is mediocre, plain and simple.
Starting out with the epic single, "Hey Man Nice Shot", Short Bus kicks into gear. The song takes a while to get kicking, but once it does, the guitar echos and drums quietly drawl out as Patrick murmurs the verses. The song picks it up at the end as Richard Patrick shows he can scream just as well as anybody as the song speeds up and gets louder. Quite simply, the best Filter song ever happened to be the first song people had heard from Filter.
Dose introduces the atmospheric industrial rock that mixes guitars, bass, and keyboards so well with drums that Filter is known for. The song starts out slow then picks up right off the bat and Richard Patrick comes chiming in, talking slowly as his voice distorts all around you. The chorus is a bit loud and intense, and the song is hard, pure, and industrial all the way.
Under is held together more musically, and is another hard, industrial song. Patrick's vocals are distorted, yet turned all the way down. The guitars are turned up loud and the song is heavily drum driven. The song is good, but blends too well into the rest of Short Bus.
Spent is where a little bit of uniqueness is found, starting out with a start-stop-scream loop, then it picks up as Patrick's vocals chime in and the industrial atmosphere is introduced back into the disc. The song doesn't have a defined chorus, but it's not half bad. I still longed for this album to lose that typical Filter atmosphere, but it didn't. So, it's another bland track.
Take Another is loud, but features the same atmosphere found in all of Short Bus's songs and Patrick's voice is distorted as usual. Screaming is integrated a bit more, and the lyrics are a bit dark. The guitars feature scales, but the song is just more of the same.
By this time, I'm wondering if every Filter song is going to be the same, but Take Another ends, and Stuck In Here hits my CD player, and fresh air is breathed into me. Mostly acoustic, but Patrick's vocals sound out of tune and bland here. Basically, the song I expected to be good because it was different...wasn't. Richard Patrick's vocals struggle severly and pulls away from this song.
It's Over quickly gets back to Filter's rocking roots, and it's a good attempt. Dropping the industrial/atmospheric sound of the beginning, the guitars are rough, loud, and sound like a standard rock song. Richard Patrick's vocals still aren't very good here though. The song is the third best song on Short Bus easily. Not a bad song at all, but just like the rest of Short Bus, it falls short.
Gerbil sounds like Hey Man Nice Shot which is a good thing. The verses are slow, Richard Patrick's vocals are nice and distorted, turned down. The industrial atmosphere is all here and the guitars are surprisingly unique and well done. Not half bad.
White Like That is the virus rehashed. More of the same, screaming and industrial atmosphere. I'm so tired of listening to the same old songs rehashed by the time this song comes along.
Consider This sounds like The Best Things off of Title of Record, and that's a good thing. While unoriginal and the same as the rest of Short Bus, the tempo and chorus is quite catchy, and the song just makes me think of my years in high school when Title of Record was in my CD player constantly. The song is lyrically dark and deep as well, so all in all, not half bad either.
This song is why I gave Short Bus a 2.5 when all I've done is complain; So Cool is a great song. Almost all acoustic, the vocals are awesome, the song is touching, catchy, and makes me feel great even though it's not a happy song. It's ends Short Bus in style that will not be touched. It's as if Richard Patrick took a page from Nine Inch Nails and ended their records with a slow, epic song that is always a fan favorite.
So all in all, Short Bus is a good album that suffered from the virus that is associated with bands whose songs sound alike. While Hey Man Nice Shot and So Cool are instant classics, the rest of the album is bland, and features that typical industrial atmosphere other than a few. It's apparent that Short Bus could have been great, but fell short severly.