Stone Temple Pilots: Stone Temple Pilots

Stone Temple Pilots: Stone Temple Pilots

The first Stone Temple Pilots album in nine years is utterly inessential in every way save one: It proves that listlessness emits a low, rattling sound just audible enough to be captured on tape. Other than that, Stone Temple Pilots is best approached as a case study in what happens when faded superstar rock bands held together only by a lack of better career options decide to swallow their pride and make a record. Coming after a massive, headline-grabbing tour in 2008 marred by in-fighting and Scott Weiland’s walking train-wreck act—and the equally massive shrug that greeted Weiland’s ludicrous solo record “Happy” In Galoshes later the same year—Stone Temple Pilots reeks of a contractual obligation in the transparent guise of the “we’re back and better than ever!” reunion album. As an excuse for STP to once again pack arenas full of graying Gen-Xers, it doesn’t justify itself nearly as well as the band’s underrated battery of mid-’90s hits. At best, fans may come to appreciate Stone Temple Pilots as soundtrack for countless trips to the bathroom at future shows. 

As a stab at recreating past glories, Stone Temple Pilots deserves some credit for attempting to replicate the rubbery, pop-conscious hard rock of 1994’s Purple; its “Vasoline” and “Interstate Love Song” made STP the leading purveyors of bubble-grunge. (As opposed to the dunderheaded misogyny of its 1992 debut, Core.) If only Stone Temple Pilots had the same soaring, indestructible choruses: “Dare If You Dare” crosses the line from Mott The Hoople tribute to full-on impersonation, while the annoyingly repetitive power-pop of “Cinnamon” quickly wears out its welcome. On “Between The Lines,” Weiland resorts to exploiting his own tabloid past, singing “You were always my favorite drug / Even when we used to take drugs,” in an apparent nod to his failed marriage. Unfortunately, rhyming “drug” with “drugs” sums up the level of invention and effort here.

Filed Under: Music

More Music Review