First off, hard to believe this record is over 20 years old. Back in the 80’s (I’ll name drop) I used to actually hang out with Richard Patrick on a regular basis. We saw some of the best shows together in the 80’s. Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Peter Murphy, INXS, Love and Rockets…you name it our little crew was submerged in industrial and the classic new wave bands. There was a lot of drinking, a lot of partying, a lot of girls and just an all around good time had by all. At the time Rich was fronting the Cleveland Alternative band The Akt who had a pretty decent following in the area with some radio play on WMMS.
Rich went on to play with Nine Inch Nails and we went our separate ways (still love ya, man). He grew as a musician over those years and came back to Cleveland to put together Short Bus in a little house converted into a studio in Rocky River. I think it has since been torn down. There was a lot of hype and build up for this record to come out not only in Cleveland but also nationally. Rightfully so, as Rich was the driving guitar sound on the road with NIN. I think most in Cleveland ran to the stores the day this came out in April of 1995. Alternative was in full swing. The End was the top radio station in Cleveland. Bands were breaking left and right and everyone seemed to have a record deal.
The first single “Hey Man Nice Shot” was on heavy rotation on MTV, and the Short Bus kept rolling. Touring like crazy, getting tons of airplay they followed up with “Dose”, which for whatever reason didn’t chart as it is a great fucking song. This entire album is pretty amazing, and still stands up to this day. I think anyone that dismissed this in the lump of alternative that was coming out at the same time really missed the…bus. It would be 4 years until “Title of Record” would come out where Filter would find their biggest success with “Take a Picture”. I always thought had there been less time between Short Bus and Title of Record Filter might have had a more lasting impact on alternative music. This is not to diminish the footprint they left in alternative rock but if only they struck when the iron was hot I think they would be way bigger than they are. Short Bus is an absolute testament to the fact that they did leave an impact.
Short Bus starts off hot with Hey Man Nice Shot, followed by Dose and the first side ends with the mellow Stuck in Here, a personal favorite. Side Two never misses a beat with cuts like Gerbil, Consider this and again bringing us down at the end with So Cool. It’s an amazing record start to finish much like the first three records it’s a classic and a pretty fucking hard record to find. I was lucky to score this copy at the record show last Sunday. I have the reissue but something about owning the first press makes it that much better. While I enjoyed some of the later records in the Filter catalog nothing beats Short Bus. The new album Crazy eyes is honestly pretty great too, so if you happen upon it grab it. You will not be disappointed.
As far as Rich goes…I still see Rich when he comes to town for the most part. I even caught his show in Vegas while I was there earlier this year. Didn’t get to actually see the guy and catch up or anything but fuck it, the dude still has it. He is an amazing entertainer. The people in the audience got a great show with all the classic hits and some amazing new songs. Filter is still doing some great shit out there. If you see them coming to town go see them. It’s not a retro 90’s show where they play all the hits. Nice Shot, Take a Picture are covered of course, but you get a nice mix of a lot of the lost new material.