CD Review: Stone Temple Pilots — Stone Temple Pilots; Playing Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, October 3

Stone Temple Pilots
Stone Temple Pilots

By Ellen Eldridge

The biting announcement of Core’s “Dead and Bloated,” released in 1992, has been replaced with the underhanded pinch of “Between The Lines,” which, along with lyrics in several songs including the chorus to “Hazy Daze,” could be a reflection of feelings expressed toward Mary Weiland’s book Fall To Pieces about the bipolar depression and drug addiction she suffered while married to frontman Scott Weiland. Certainly, the single acts as a love song riddled with references in the chorus to “taking drugs” and it speaks as one of the harder rock songs on Stone Temple Pilots and has climbed its way up the charts quite quickly.

After nearly 20 years of turmoil, grunge roots planted in angsty guitar rhythms have given way to the what could have been super groups (Army Of Anyone, Velvet Revolver) and yielded a new beginning with this release. Nine years after the kaleidoscopic, passed-over release of Shangri-la Dee Da, this eponymous release signifies a slightly different change of course for Stone Temple Pilots because the familiar melodies carry a Beatlesque tone, but those roots of angst and anger have quieted if not withered. Certainly, tracks like “Dare If You Dare” contain the elements of success that warranted stellar hits in the ’90s, but the band’s energy feels watered-down. The vocals stay smooth and on-point, but the experimentation and aesthetic feeling attached to songs like Purple’s “Lounge Fly” feels compromised for safer pop melodies and standard signature riffs. Dean DeLeo’s guitar playing adds the color to this otherwise unmemorable album with experimental solos.

One thing the band does well for itself, is journey off-path through the glam vocal styling recalling David Bowie on “Peacoat” and the classic rock sound. Something’s definitely missing, but for a generation founded on angst and the drive for drugs, Stone Temple Pilots deserve a few extra spins of the disc. Regardless of the safe-feeling sentiment on the latest release, live STP is bound to entertain fans who’ve been anticipating live shows for nine long years.

Stone Temple Pilots play Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park on October 3.


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