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CD Review: Stone Temple Pilots / Stone Temple Pilots

May 12, 2010 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

Stone Temple Pilots
Stone Temple Pilots

Atlantic Records
Release Date:  May 25, 2010

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Reviewed by:  Ryan Labbe

Stone Temple Pilots
Stone Temple Pilots
Atlantic Records

Stone Temple Pilots
Stone Temple Pilots
Between The Lines
Take A Load Off
Huckleberry Crumble
Hickory Dichotomy
Dare If You Dare
Hazy Daze
Fast As I Can
First Kiss On Mars

Twenty years ago, in the midst of a musical revolution, the popularity of hair bands was begrudgingly handed off to a generation of flannel wearing, angst ridden slackers. Bombastic guitar riffs and songs about sex, drugs and rock n’ roll gave way to slower, thicker, distorted tones with more serious lyrical subject matter like self loathing and even suicide. This new genre of music was called “grunge” and through it the world was introduced to a plethora a new bands, including Stone Temple Pilots, also simply known as STP.  

Over the years, Stone Temple Pilots, comprised of Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo, Eric Kretz and of course, the controversial unpredictable Scott Weiland, has proven to be a dynamic force by growing beyond the grunge movement into an incredibly versatile band and releasing half a dozen albums, each great in their own right.

On May 25th, 9 years after 2001’s Shangri-La Dee Da, Stone Temple Pilots will return with their self-titled album lead by the #1 hit “Between the Lines”, the album’s first single and lead-off track.  

Right out of the gate, STP is as energetic as ever. From the charging verse to the melodic chorus and sonic breakdown,”Between the Lines” is a solid opening track. During the chorus, Weiland sings, “You always were my favorite drug, even when we used to take drugs,” an especially interesting lyric given Weiland’s past.  The song’s breakdown brings to mind Nirvana, the band that some say made it possible for band’s like STP to thrive.

The band slows down for a moment with “Take a Load Off” a mid tempo number with a thick beat that resurrects some of STP’s grunge past and culminates in a light, airy melodic chorus.  

“Hickory Dichotomy” is one of the stranger STP songs that I’ve ever heard. The song’s intro showcases a twang soaked guitar melody and gives way to a quirky bass driven verse with Weiland singing, “Strange, strange, strange, it’s dichotomy,” with some kind of drawl. While not the best cut on the album, it certainly stands out for being one of the most unique.  

My favorite tracks are towards the end of the album. “First Kiss on Mars,” has a main riff that brings to mind Smashing Pumpkin’s “1979” while Weiland and the gang channel their inner David Bowie to make this one a roll-the-windows-down-and-drive fast kind of song, and one of the album’s strongest moments.

“Maver,” the album’s closer is a piano driven ballad with one of those sing-song choruses that you’ll still be hearing once the song ends; a guitar solo and serene acoustic interlude help bring this album to its conclusion.

From “Between the Lines” to the Beatle-esque “Dare if You Dare” and the charging “Fast As I Can,” Stone Temple Pilots have put together an album that proves their hiatus has not halted them creatively in any way. References to Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and David Bowie notwithstanding, Stone Temple Pilots’ self titled effort is all their own.


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