Talk Show

Talk Show

Atlantic Records, 1997

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


If you were Scott Weiland, I'd be real worried.

You've just spent the last two years screwing with your band mates in Stone Temple Pilots - first getting addicted to heroin, then cleaning up and recording a poor third album (which we'll eventually get to reviewing here), then getting involved in drugs again, causing the band to cancel the tour supporting the album.

Well, Scott, now you should be seriously considering updating your resume. Based on the first release from the new DeLeo brothers' side project Talk Show, they've successfully proved that the soul of Stone Temple Pilots lies not in the addict singer, but in the remaining band members.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Tired of waiting for Weiland to clean up his act, guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz found themselves a new vocalist in the person of former Ten Inch Men lead throat Dave Coutts. Coutts is not only able to pull off a sound remarkably similar to that of Weiland, but he also creates his own, stronger vocal persona - and kids, this is truly exciting.

Just from the energy level of the lead single "Hello Hello," Talk Show is out not to prove that they can survive without Weiland, but to make the music they love and have fun doing so. The first time I heard this track on MTV, I couldn't believe how good it was. Coutts's slightly distorted vocals on the chorus is the added kick that this song needed to push the listener over the top - damn, does it ever work!

And who else could get away with the ballsy concept of mimicking the sound of '70s pop group America for the opening of "Peeling An Orange" and pulling it off with perfection? Any other time I'd be ripping a band for such a tactic; this took guts to do. (The acoustic vein of the band is further explored in the closing track "Fill The Fields.")

Other cuts like "Ring Twice," "So Long" (with its distortion-fed opening lines) and "End Of The World" all serve as wonderful examples of how powerful this band is. Many of the remaining cuts sound like a traditional Stone Temple Pilots album - in this case, I'd say it sounds more like classic STP such as off of Purple.

So we must ask the question: Is Talk Show a sign that Stone Temple Pilots is dead? I don't think so - unless Weiland screws up again in a big way. The brothers DeLeo have sworn up and down that this band is just a side project which allows them to crank out their music at their own pace, and I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Those who were disappointed at the quality of Tiny Music... Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop should give Talk Show a fair shake - you will be quite surprised at what you hear. Dean and Robert DeLeo have restored my faith in their music - and served fair warning to Weiland.

Rating: B+

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© 1997 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Atlantic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.