Stone Temple Pilots, long rumored to be ready to return with a new singer, will officially play their first live show with that new singer Tuesday, November 14 at a special invitation-only concert for SiriusXM listeners at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, California. Continue reading
In an interview Stone Temple Pilots co-founders Dean and Robert DeLeo revealed that the band has chosen a new singer and are close to naming him. The announcement comes just a few months after the death of the previous singer Chester Bennington, also of Linkin Park. Original singer Scott Weiland died on December 5th, 2015. Continue reading
Released on the same day in 1992 as Alice In Chains’ Dirt, Stone Temple Pilots burst on the scene with Core (Atlantic), an album that immediately vaulted the band from a virtual unknown to a buzz band. Although there had been a bidding war to sign the band in their pre-Core days, a name change from Mighty Joe Young had kept the band off of some critics radar, but not the fans. Once they heard the first strains of this great new hard rock band, they would be hard to resist. With the untimely deaths of original singer Scott Weiland, and more recently Chester Bennington in the rearview, but keeping this important band in our hearts, let’s look back at this iconic early 90s album and band. Continue reading
With the possible exception of a certain W. Axl Rose, there cannot be many figures who have cut such a Marmite-like presence in the music business as Scott Weiland. Even at the height of his fame and notoriety, Weiland cut an often odd figure – feted and lauded by some as a frontman non-pareil, loathed in equal measure by others. Whatever your view of Weiland and his artistic output, either in Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver or his solo work (anyone got that Christmas album?), you always got the idea that Weiland lapped it all up. And then some.
Personally, I bow to no-one in my admiration for STP’s ‘Sex Type Thing’; a rock song of genuine, unbridled swagger, and I have always been in the supporter’s camp for the super-group silliness of the Velvets. Whilst I’m therefore more likely than many to give a positive response to Weiland’s return to the musical fray, even his most vehement naysayers will have to admit that there’s still plenty of life in the man and he’s still got something to offer us. Blaster (Softdrive) is a slightly under the radar release for Weiland with his latest backing band, the clunkily named Wildabouts. Be under no illusion, this is a Weiland solo record and, as efficient and effective as rock musicians these guys are, this is the Scott show.
There’s a Marilyn Manson echo running through the glam stomp of ‘White Lightning’ and the cover of T-Rex’s ‘20th Century Boy’ is lively enough but feels like a record company compromise to me; I would have much preferred to hear him take on something from 70s Alice Cooper or Slade than this: sadly, this version never rises above the perfunctory when it should have shone.
However, that slightly regressive move aside, there’s a playful Californian surf pop vibe underpinning ‘Hotel Rio’, the alt-rock by numbers that ‘Amethyst’ offers reminds me of the 1990s but -self evidently- without the drugged out weirdness that his former band tended to offer. I’m fairly well taken by the sun-bronzed Nirvana schtick of ‘Bleed Out’ and there’s a glammy beat that pushes ‘Beach Pop’ along with a verve and effervescence.
Blaster has arrived with little fanfare and is all the better for it. Whether this is due to Weiland checking whether he has still “got it” (yes, he has) or because he’s also trying out new ideas that don’t quite fit with his “rock god” persona, I know not. Blaster is certainly a much more glammy album; it’s also a happy record suggesting that Weiland has found some artistic peace with himself. Whilst it’s not an out and out classic, given what this artist has been through, the mere fact that he has the show back on the road means we should be discussing Blaster as something approaching a triumph.