released May 25th, 2010

from the album - Between The Lines

from all music

Stone Temple Pilots were able to turn alternative rock into stadium rock; naturally, they became the most critically despised band of their era. Accused by many critics of being nothing more than ripoff artists who pilfered from Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains, the bandmates nevertheless became major stars in 1993. And the influence of those bands was apparent in their music, although Stone Temple Pilots did manage to change things around a bit. STP were more concerned with tight song structure and riffs than punk rage. Their closest antecedents were not the Sex Pistols or Hüsker Dü; instead the band resembled arena rock acts from the '70s — they made popular hard rock that sounded good on the radio and in concert. No matter what the critics said, Stone Temple Pilots had undeniably catchy riffs and production; there's a reason why over three million people bought their debut album, Core, and why their second album, Purple, shot to number one when it was released.

Following the success of Purple and its accompanying tour, the band took some time off, during which the group's lead singer, Scott Weiland, developed a heroin addiction. In the spring of 1995, he was arrested for possession of heroin and cocaine, and was sentenced to a rehabilitation program. Following his completion of the program, Stone Temple Pilots recorded their third album. Released in the spring of 1996, Tiny Music...Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop, entered the charts at number four. Shortly after its release, Stone Temple Pilots announced that Weiland had relapsed and entered a drug rehabilitation facility, thereby canceling the group's plans for a summer tour. Weiland's drug problems and the group's inability to support Tiny Music with a tour meant that the album couldn't replicate the success of its predecessors — by the end of the summer, it had fallen out the Top 50 and had stalled at platinum, which was considerably less than what the group's two previous albums achieved.

Still battling his personal demons, Weiland recorded a 1998 solo album, 12 Bar Blues, while the remaining members of STP recruited vocalist Dave Coutts to record a self-titled LP under the band name Talk Show. To the surprise of many, Stone Temple Pilots then reunited, although shortly after completing 1999's No. 4 Weiland was sentenced to a year in a Los Angeles county jail for violating his probation, which stemmed from an earlier conviction for heroin possession. Even so, a newly rejuvenated Stone Temple Pilots and a sober Weiland emerged stronger than ever during the new millennium. The band got back to basics with Shangri-La Dee Da, released in summer 2001. Two years later, STP issued the ambitious greatest-hits package Thank You. The audio-only edition featured 15 tracks — 13 hits spanning the group's entire career, an acoustic version of "Plush" dating from 1992, and the new track "All in the Suit That You Wear" — while a special CD/DVD format included three hours of videos, live performances, and behind-the-scenes footage.

Stone Temple Pilots took another break between 2003 and 2008, during which time Weiland found renewed success as the frontman of Velvet Revolver. After clashes with his bandmates resulted in his exit from the group, Weiland reunited with STP and embarked on a successful reunion tour in 2008, with ticket sales reportedly totaling $230,000 per show. The band returned to the studio one year later, emerging in 2010 with the release of its self-titled sixth album.

album review

Stone Temple Pilots’ 2010 reunion album isn’t a song deep before Scott Weiland alludes to his checkered chemical past by singing “even when we used to take drugs,” which may not be a confession -- the singer took great pains to claim he was writing in third person for this, the sixth STP album -- but it’s easy to read between the lines, particularly when the song title invites you to do so. Despite Weiland’s knack for a fractured phrase, the kind that jams a verse or chorus into the brain, words have never been the reason to listen to Stone Temple Pilots, it’s always been their candied crunch, the way the filter ‘70s sleaze through psychedelic swirls. The brothers DeLeo are responsible for the former, and Weiland for the latter and, like it or not -- the decade-long absence suggests that they surely don’t -- they need each other, neither team sounding quite as good in their solo projects as they do working together. So, Stone Temple Pilots finds STP picking up where they left off, retaining the harder, diamond edge of Shangri-La Dee Da, balancing swagger and melody with an expert professional touch, offering everything as expected, except for the key ingredient of Brendan O’Brien, who produced every one of STP’s albums before this. In his stead come the DeLeo brothers, who somehow strip the group’s sound to the core while still managing to pile on six-string overdubs; it’s an STP record that’s de-frilled and guitar heavy, its bluntness extending to a direct quotation of “Dancing Days” in the guitar solo for “Hickory Dichotomy” and an open homage to prime Aerosmith on “Huckleberry Crumble.” Perhaps with another set of ears in the studio these allusions would be refined, and perhaps the entire set would be sharpened, anchored by a couple of surging singles, and possessing some sense of shifting texture, but as it stands, Stone Temple Pilots is a good solid record and an inadvertent testament to the fact that these guys need each other.

Track Listing

1 Between the Lines DeLeo, Weiland 2:50
2 Take a Load Off DeLeo, Weiland 3:11
3 Huckleberry Crumble DeLeo, Weiland 3:10
4 Hickory Dichotomy DeLeo, Weiland 3:22
5 Dare If You Dare DeLeo, Weiland 4:29
6 Cinnamon DeLeo, Weiland 3:33
7 Hazy Daze DeLeo, DeLeo, Weiland 2:59
8 Bagman DeLeo, Weiland 2:45
9 Peacoat DeLeo, Weiland 3:29
10 Fast as I Can DeLeo, Weiland 3:33
11 First Kiss on Mars DeLeo, Weiland 3:03
12 Maver DeLeo, Weiland 4:53