Review – Stone Temple Pilots (2018)
I can’t say that I’m a Stone Temple Pilots fan. Historically anyway. They came along as music was in a shift from hair metal, where I grew up, to grunge, and I just lost interest in the latest trends of music and didn’t care for grunge overall. I mean, we go from women in short skirts and high heels to canvas pants and combat boots.
Didn’t seem fair to me I suppose.
You can’t however deny their impact on grunge itself. They carried a lot of weight, put out good music for their fans who did get into the sound, and in the end, earned respect worldwide for their music. From their founding in 1989 to firing their singing, Scott Weiland, in 2013; it was easy to see the band was in for some major changes. The types of changes that kill most bands.
The story unfolds with Chester Bennington joining the band a few months later to leaving in November of 2015 to work on his own band Lincoln Park. Any change to reunite with Weiland ended with Wieland being found dead on his tour bus in December of the same year.
Doesn’t seem fair to me I suppose.
With both singers how a part of rocks history and passed away, the band kept moving and in time would work to remind people this group has sold 35 million albums worldwide. Certainly this will be a tough act to follow.
Fair or not this is where we are.
In November of 2017, the band brought out Jeff Gutt to take over front man duties and their first release with Gutt is now available and ready to make its own mark and set a new direction for a band with almost too much unfortunate history in the last 6 years.
In the self-titled release with Gutt, I can’t really compare them to the old STP but I can say the sound and vibe is the same. Part of me wanted to go back and listen to more old STP and try to compare but I’m going to refrain. The band is setup for a new direction and I’d like to focus on where they are today now that I’ve covered much of their storied past. All that said, I dig it.
There are no weak holes on this release and not much you’ll “fast forward” over. We start off energetic with Middle of Nowhere and Gutt dives right into the bands sound quickly and merges very well. Guilty changes up the pace a bit yet keeps the energy going strong. Medow will, I believe, take a lot of people back to vintage STP and be a favorite for many of the old and new fans. I’ve not gotten to my own favorite yet, but we’re working our way down the list.
I won’t cover and comment on all songs. But to ramble on a bit about my own favorites I’ll lob out Thought She’d be Mine as the leading candidate for the one I’ll go back to and likely play quite often on the icehouse. It’s just a feel good song so easy to relate to with a melody that seems to have roots long before the bands even initial existence with a 60s/70s feel that will pull in many along the way.
Next up on my own “hell yea” list is The Art of Letting Go. Yep, my own theme falls back to slower songs with a touch of introspection and this one fits the bill nicely, thank you with Finest Hour getting a shout out also.
In all, a very solid release the band, and Gutt can be very proud of. They seem to capture their history and move forward at the same time and that’s not an easy trick to pull off, much less pull off this well.
See y’all in Dallas when you get here. Til then, rock on STP. Rock on.