Artist: Stone Temple Pilots
Title: Stone Temple Pilots (2018)
Most bands do not release two self titled albums in their careers. But then again, you don’t see many band going through what Stone Temple Pilots have been through. The San Diego band burst on the scene in the 1990s with a series of fantastic albums before lead singer Scott Weilands demons led the band to split in 2002. Weiland joined Velvet Revolver, with the DeLeo’s forming Army of Anyone. Fans were elated at the return of STP in 2008, but by 2013 Weiland was once out of the fold, and Linkin Parks Chester Bennington, was in.
From 2013 to November 2015 the Bennington fronted STP released an EP and toured, before Bennington left to focus more on Linkin Park. A month later Scott Weiland is found dead on a tour bus and eighteen months later Bennington commits suicide. You had to wonder if STP would even want to continue.
Thankfully they realised their legacy was too great to ignore and announced online auditions for a new singer, after the extensive process announced Jeff Gutt, who had been a finalist on Season 3 of the X Factor as their new lead vocalist. Gutt was introduced to the world with the single “Meadow”, and now with the album out here are our thoughts.
Opening up with “Middle Of Nowhere” I was brought to the familiarity of the “STP Sound”. Great straight up rock guitars, with a nice prominent bass. Im sure people will draw comparisons with Gutt’s voice to Weiland, and yeah he has some stylistic similarities but he also stands on his own
“Guilty” has a great groove, with almost crooning vocals in the verses, coupled with some nice harmony work. Love the little guitar lines underneath. Up next is “Meadow”, the first single. Smart move getting this out to the world first, it is classic STP all over.
“Just A Little Lie” has an almost jazz like feel in parts, and Gutt gets more into that crooner style. It took a few listens for me, but it sure grew on me. “Six Eight” has a massive chorus that seriously sounds like the ghosts of Weiland and Bennington are along for the ride. Creepy and cool all in one.
I have always loved STP’s ballads and “Thought She’d Be Mine” is no different. A lovely, mellow track with some great falsetto and double harmony vocals from Gutt. He stands out vocally on this track. “Roll Me Under” rips through next is, in my opinion, the absolute stand out on the album. This is a must add to their live set. A phenomenal song.
“Never Enough” is a great rocker, and “The Art of Letting Go” is a very jazzy ballad which again showcases the vocals through its moody projection. “Finest Hour” is more of a pop oriented song, but STP have always been able to wear many stylistic hats with ease.
“Good Shoes” and “Red’s and Blues” round out the return of Stone Temple Pilots return, again showing the more laid back pop side of the band, but that variation just works on this album.
I know there is going to be many purists that will turn their back on the band and say “No Weiland, No STP”, which is a shame, because if you take the time to listen with fresh ears and no pre conceived ideas, you will find yourself immersed in a great record from front to back. Really hope we see them down here in Australia sooner rather than later.