Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots

Atlantic, 2010

http://www.stonetemplepilots.com

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/19/2012

The last five years have seen a wealth of attempted comebacks by bands that were popular mainly in the ‘90s, most of which have gone unnoticed (Alice In Chains’ 2009 effort Black Gives Way To Blue being a notable exception). Following the dissolution of corporate supergroup Velvet Revolver, singer Scott Weiland and the assorted pieces of Stone Temple Pilots figured, hey, let’s get back together and see what happens.

STP faded away after 2001’s Shangri-La Dee Da, a solid disc that was overlooked at the time, so it only makes sense that they would sonically pick up where they left off. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Stone Temple Pilots has the same sound – pop psychedelia with a hard rock edge – that is now their unique signature.

In short, those expecting a return to Purple will not get it. The music ebbs and flows a lot like No. 4, although there is no surefire single like “Sour Girl” to break up the flow. The hit single here was “Between The Lines,” which kicks the disc off with a solid hard rock punch and lyrics about someone who used to take drugs (Weiland swore he was writing in the third person, but nobody believes him). It’s fine.

Much of the album is simply guitar-heavy pop rock tunes without the ballads of the previous album. “Huckleberry Crumble” and “Hickory Dichotomy” are an enjoyable update on early Aerosmith, “Take A Load Off” and “Fast As I Can” are solid rock songs, and “Hazy Daze” sounds a bit like a Velvet Revolver leftover. No real clunkers are present, though some of the stuff near the end of the disc is unremarkable.

As with the previous two albums, when STP gets away from the rock and mines their pop sensibilities, the results are far more interesting and memorable. Weiland channels David Bowie in the chorus of “Dare If You Dare,” multi-tracking his high and low ranges, and it elevates the song. “Cinnamon” is a flat-out sunny pop song, but instead of annoying “Days Of The Week” territory, the tune is a head-bopper that sounds great in the car on a nice day.

Guitarist Dean DeLeo and bassist Robert DeLeo produced the disc; the former is in fine form throughout. Weiland, for his part, contributes some of the better lyrics of his career; where before he would toss out random words and awkward phrasings, time and sobriety have honed his words (except for “Between The Lines,” which repeats the same incessant chorus about, well, drugs).

There’s very little here that will win the band new fans, but old ones will be delighted the group has picked up where it left off.

Rating: B

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