Stone Temple Pilots – Stone Temple Pilots [Limited Deluxe Edition] (2010, Atlantic Records)
1. “Between the Lines” … 2:50
2. “Take a Load Off” … 3:11
3. “Huckleberry Crumble” … 3:10
4. “Hickory Dichotomy” … 3:22
5. “Dare If You Dare” … 4:29
6. “Cinnamon” … 3:33
7. “Hazy Daze” … 2:59
8. “Bagman” … 2:45
9. “Peacoat” … 3:29
10. “Fast As I Can” … 3:33
11. “First Kiss on Mars” … 3:03
12. “Maver” …. 4:52
13. “Samba Nova” … 3:33
14. “Vasoline” (live) … 3:10
15. “Hickory Dichotomy” (live) … 3:18
16. “Between the Lines” (live) … 2:55
Scott Weiland – Vocals
Robert DeLeo – Guitar
Dean DeLeo – Bass
Eric Kretz – Drums
Bill Appleberry – Keyboards
Producer: Stone Temple Pilots and Don Was
After a five-year layoff (during which Scott Weiland famously was the lead singer for Velvet Revolver) and nine years after the disappointing Shangri-La Dee Da, STP is back at it again. For some reason, this band has always struck a chord with me and has been a favorite of mine from the “alternative scene”. Maybe that’s because in the face of the exploding grunge/alternative scene they always had more in common with ’70s glam and hard rock acts than their own contemporaries.
They definitely had more variety when it came to their albums and this self-titled release is no different. Another huge plus for the band is Scott Weiland. The guy can sing a variety of styles. You want the typical grungy mumbling vocalist? He can do it. You want Bowie-esque or Beatles-esque vocals? He can do it. You want him to sing soft and pretty or light and poppy or get down with some heavy metal? He can do all that too. He’s a really underrated singer just on variety alone.
Much to my delight, this album blows away 2001’s Shangri-La Dee Da and is right up their with the rest of their exceptional albums. I wasn’t sure if the band could do it, but they did. I instantly tore into this CD and listened to it the whole way through four times within the first 24 hours of owning it. It’s that good. This album is STP in their element doing what they do best: hard rock influenced by ’70s glam and psychadelia that swirls with pop-sensibilities and a Beatles harmony influence. The band even takes time to provide some Aerosmith worship with “Huckleberry Crumble” (seriously, Aerosmith should sue these guys!) and “First Kiss On Mars” is a song that would make David Bowie proud. Is it me or does anyone else think of the 1960s Batman show when Weiland sings “bagman” on “Bagman”? It must be some kind of joke, the delivery just sounds too similar!
If there’s anything I can say that would be a negative for this album is that it’s a bit soft and laid back but that’s not really a surprise because Weiland seemingly had more control over the second Velvet Revolver album and much to Slash’s chagrin it was a softer and lighter album than their debut. There are a few solid rockers here though like “Between the Lines” (a song in the classic STP style), “Take A Load Off”, “Huckleberry Crumble” and “Hazy Daze”. These songs are very good but still nothing comes close to their best and most aggressive songs of the past.
Don’t get me wrong, this is an awesome release, one of the best I’ve heard in 2010 and it’s great to have STP back.
I went to Walmart to pick this up and would you believe they didn’t have it? I’m not sure if they sold out or what (I went to pick it up the weekend after it was released) but this is a pretty major release so I would have thought there’d be at least a few copies lying around. I ended up ordering this from Best Buy’s website (free shipping!) and got the limited deluxe edition that includes “Samba Nova” (a b-side to the “Between the Lines” single), three live tracks and a mini-fold out poster with the album cover on one side and a band photo on the other. The live tracks are listed as being recorded in Chicago but the location and date is not mentioned though I assume there were at least recorded sometime in 2010.
Highlights: “Between the Lines”, “Huckleberry Crumble”, “Hickory Dichotomy”, “Dare If You Dare”, “Cinnamon”, “Hazy Daze”