Released: Out Now Label: Rhino My first exposure to Filter was being played The Amalgamut whilst I was sitting in the back seat, at the tender age of roughly 13.  I remember remarking inwardly to myself on the stadium-rock production, the curiously sparse instrumentation and the rumbling bass that underpinned the song.  I promptly proceeded to nod my angsty teenage head in vigorous fashion and remark (probably) that this new audio was ‘rad’, or possibly ‘bitchin’. Such adjectives I will not attempt to re-conjure. One of the many pitfalls of releasing a ‘best of’ album is that many of the tracks will either have lost their lustre for returning fans, or conversely will seem like a disappointment, not being particularly brilliant. To empathise with a first time listener of any rock band’s compilation album is to dip into either sublime discovery or apathy, and in this case, apathetic reactions will abound.  It’s slightly tragic in a sense – the very nature of a ‘best of’ retrospective is exciting, however the inevitable corollary is a skewed memory of a band that, again in this case, don’t have much to offer to those looking for progressive music. Luckily, Filter, for fans new or old, still retain a good deal of bite. Favourites abound, such as ‘Take a Picture’, the timelessly ascetic ‘Hey Man Nice Shot’ and ‘The Only Way (Is The Wrong Way)’  do still satisfy those looking for tight, quality industrial soundscapes. Richard Patrick’s vocals begin the CD underwhelming but functional, but within a few songs (and, years, chronologically speaking!) start to up the stakes and we’re reminded of how well his throaty growling is complemented by a good ear for melody and subtlety of delivery. Ah, the times, how they have changed! No longer are we awash in a sea of stadium rock bands with fashionably short names (such as Feeder, non?) and nu-metal hell-bent on contriving massive drops and throat-searing growls. Filter, much to my pleasure, are still very listenable to and have aged much less noticeably than many of their peers. This is in part due to their strong roster of hits, most of which borrowed lightly enough from the contemporary milieu so as not to feel out-dated today.  The flipside to this however, is that Filter as a band have always seemed, and remain to seem, like a product of no-time, neither progressive nor retro, and as such the enthusiasm that I felt upon my first listen is markedly diminished on my return to their uniformly badly titled songs. Rating: 6/10