Stone Temple Pilots
Core


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brendan Schroer STAFF
October 5th, 2012 | 88 replies | 4,997 views


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A bold debut that holds up well, even after 20 years.

Stone Temple Pilots were bound to notoriety from the get-go, it seems; what seemed to be a promising debut album turned out to be pummeled by critics and grunge fans alike. About 90% of the arguments against the band referred to them as being too similar to other acts such as Alice in Chains, and the fact that the very same album was released on the same day as AIC's landmark affair Dirt would only dig them a deeper grave. However, sales suggested quite the contrary.

Of course, I'm talking about the album Core, which provided a launchpad to success for Stone Temple Pilots. It eventually went on to sell over eight million copies with a lot of help from strong singles, including "Sex Type Thing," "Wicked Garden," and "Creep." However, how does all of this hold up today? Certainly better than it did back then, that's for sure.

While it might be tempting to call the band rip-offs like so many others did, it's really not giving the whole story. To the band's credit, Core outpaces many of its contemporaries from a composition-standpoint, a lot of this stemming from some real diversity. The fact that the album switches from a doomy opener, to a fast-paced "Dam That River"-style song, to a mid-paced number with chilling choruses, to an extremely haunting instrumental in just four tracks should really say something about the band's ambitious nature.

You'd think the songwriting quality would suffer with this in mind, but it doesn't. Songs like "Wicked Garden" will have you humming the chorus all day, and the more complex "Sin" twists and slithers around an E-diminished chord that serves as the discordant riff. "No Memory," the aforementioned instrumental, is the equivalent of losing your soul and being heartless for eternity; such imagery is hard to convey effectively, but the band manage to pull it off in only a minute and a half.

If highlights were to be chosen, "Wicked Garden," "Creep," "Sex Type Thing," and "Plush" would be them. "Wicked Garden" was already somewhat explained earlier, but "Creep" is a whole different story. The delicately-paced ballad keeps the listener on-edge with effective use of the acoustic guitar to create and build drama. Vocalist Scott Weiland tones down his vocals to give a performance equally emotional and downtrodden. "Sex Type Thing" and "Plush" are two of the most powerful songs to grace the record, the former being an anti-rape defense put to a grunge-metal tune, and the latter crawling at a much-slower pace and being generally more emotive without dragging out for too long.

The only big issue is that the songs have a tendency to run together after a while; this is especially evident in the latter part of the record. This causes some annoying repetition, especially when it comes to the slightly recycled-sounding riffs in the last few tracks. One song that unfortunately displays this really well is the last number, "Where the River Goes." It just drags at a snail's pace without particularly accomplishing much; there's not much purpose for the song all in all.

Either way, Core became a mega-hit and is more widely accepted today than it was back then. In hindsight, the album turned out to be very important, as it boosted grunge's sales even more than the genre was already experiencing. Not only that, but it deserves almost every inch of positive reception it gets today. This one is highly recommended.



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user ratings (858)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
demigod!
October 5th 2012



43888 Comments


gotta love Plush.

Nice review man.

Digging: Black Flag - My War

ThroneOfAgony
October 5th 2012



3485 Comments


I thought Purple was their best

MeatSalad
October 5th 2012



14193 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Core as fvck

Digging: Love - Forever Changes

truekebabpower
October 5th 2012



639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed that the closer is boring as fuck, Dead & Bloated and Creep on the other hand...pretty awesome

Titan
October 5th 2012



4799 Comments


I am I am I am

Titan
October 5th 2012



4799 Comments


i said i wanna get next to you

YoYoMancuso
October 6th 2012



10871 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

essential album

Fluttertrank
October 6th 2012



17098 Comments


yeah

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
October 6th 2012



20641 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

plush is so good

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

Spag
October 6th 2012



1714 Comments


rules

Digging: Septicflesh - Titan

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
October 7th 2013



9684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ Definitely

frigyourgenre
October 20th 2013



1398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know you want what's on my mind
I know you like what's on my mind
I know it eats you up inside

Digging: Amon Tobin - Supermodified

slagun
October 20th 2013



676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album doesnt get enough love

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2013



9684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ Amen to that

trainofconsequence
October 20th 2013



1422 Comments


Dead And Bloated and Plush are too good

frigyourgenre
October 20th 2013



1398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so is the rest

Green Baron
October 20th 2013



18116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and sex type thing

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2013



9684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

\m/

SitarHero
November 10th 2013



4603 Comments


I WANNA RUN THROUGH YOUR WICKED GARDEEEENN

frigyourgenre
November 10th 2013



1398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So many 4's lol



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