"Stone Temple Pilots" by Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots
Stone Temple Pilots

Atlantic
2010

Review

Subdued, yet adequate. This isn't the re-emergence of a Rock Super-Power so much as it is a necessary step towards something better.

I remember going to see Velvet Revolver. Scot Weiland strutted and danced and owned the stage. His stage presence was amazing. I had never had the pleasure of seeing STP in their prime (for reference, I think No 4. was their best album - in spite of "Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart" is tied with "Adhesive" for my favorite STP song ). I thought it made sense when STP broke up, and I was glad to hear about the formation of a new supergroup. They were quite the site to see! Now we flash forward years later and in true Rock and Roll style, Velvet Revolver is yet another clash of egos that could not manage to put their differences aside to keep making great music (for another recent example, please refer to Audioslave).

It started slowly then. A few shows as the reunited STP here and there, before working on the actual album. I happened to catch one of the early reunion shows at the Berkley Amphitheater and the first thing that stood out to me was how calm Scot Weiland was on stage. I mean, Robert DeLeo was having a BLAST on bass on Scott seemed lethargic by comparison. At that point, I did not have high hopes for the new music coming next. The show was adequate, but not special. They didn't grab my attention and shake the shit out of me like the Velvet Revolver show did.

So here were are, with some time behind the band since those shows and the question is, did they deliver? Well, when they sound like STP, yes. When they sound like Oasis, almost. I mean, when did STP even have anything at all to do with the Oasis sound? The album opener "Between the Lines" could pass for an Oasis cover if were just a little less obsessed with taking drugs (which isn't to say that Liam, Noel, and company stayed away from self-medicating, just to say that they kept that out of their song lyrics). "Cinnamon" is a great Oasis song that was written by STP. It's the delivery of the lyrics coupled with the oddly Beatles-like guitar arrangements. It's interesting to me that a few bands that have tried a more "mature" sound have ended up sounding like Oasis (most notably Jet who toured with Oasis to promote their underwhelming sophomore album).

"Take A Load Off" sounds a bit more like STP as does "Dare If You Dare" (perhaps with a twist of Queens of the Stone Age). "Huckleberry Crumble" sounds like Aerosmith. "Hickory Dichotomy" sounds like Blur. "Bagman" sounds like Jet.

It's not bad. It's just that it feels a bit like the band is trying to catch up to itself a bit by emulating other relatively related Rock and Roll trends. I want the dynamic and engaging STP. Not the introspective one. I understand that time marches forward (as it must) but to me, this is less an evolution and more a reaction. I know that there is more there. Scott's voice is solid, as is the band...I just need more energy and to be reminded less of other band's "more mature" sound. I need singing through megaphones in loud costumes, Rock-Star ego, stage dives, and conflict.

3.667 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Between the Lines (02:50) 5
2. Take a Load Off (03:11) 4
3. Huckleberry Crumble (03:10) 3
4. Hickory Dichotomy (03:22) 3
5. Dare If You Dare (04:29) 4
6. Cinnamon (03:33) 5
7. Hazy Daze (02:59) 4
8. Bagman (02:45) 4
9. Peacoat (03:29) 3
10. Fast as I Can (03:33) 3
11. First Kiss on Mars (03:03) 3
12. Maver (04:52) 3