Stone Temple Pilots
Stone Temple Pilots (2018)


2.0
poor

Review

by Simon.K CONTRIBUTOR (208 Reviews)
March 17th, 2018 | 86 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Opening old wounds.

Imagine for a second, opening a tin of sausage and beans and finding only beans inside; listening to Nirvana without Kurt Cobain; or watching Toy Story without Woody and Buzz in it. I’ve drawn from a stark contrast of fields for my metaphor, but all have the same result: the core ingredient is missing. The differences for these areas is crucial though: in a film you can potentially write a clever tale for Toy Story that could work without its two charismatic protagonists; if you don’t have sausage in your tin you can take it back and get a replacement; but for a band, if something tragic or unfortunate happens to its most appealing selling point there’s little you can do about it. It’s definitely a morally grey area for me – especially when that band’s singer dies. I mean, it was bad enough when Weiland left STP again in 2013 and Chester Bennington took over as their official singer – a combination I feel didn’t work – but when that singer dies, there’s a legacy there which I feel should remain unspoiled and left alone. STP are an even rarer case though and have a somewhat ominous cloud looming over their name now that both of their singers are 6 feet underground, but I digress. Even with this spooky factor out of the scenario, when you’re out of pocket with your core ingredient there’s a repeating trend that seems to occur and is both completely bewildering and pointless to me: they hire a new singer that sounds exactly like their old one.

Like Alice in Chains, I can’t for the life of me understand why a band would pick an imitation of their former singer; a deceased one no less. It’s both creepy and cynically lazy. The dominating thought is that they are sitting on a recognisable name, so a change is out of the question, but for that name fans want the same familiarity it originally offered. However, going down this road leaves a nasty taste in my mouth, hearing X-Factor's Jeff Gutt attempt to convey the unattainable sleaze Weiland possessed only leaves me thinking Stone Temple Pilots is a calculated and artificial cash-grab. What’s worse is STP’s sound here probably wouldn’t have been saved even if Scott was alive to sing on it. This retro offering is a dull collection of grunge and alt-rock tunes that moves with a lethargic slump, “Just a Little Lie” has a functionally effective groove, partnered with shimmering guitar effects that have a firm hold on the song, but god, has it been done a million times before – and a lot better. Everything here works adequately, there’s nothing offensive to report, but the problem is it all feels soulless and by-the-numbers, only now with the added hinderance of a guy trying to sound like someone else; and that to me makes everything feel fake and dirty. I’ve nothing against Jeff’s singing, he’s a very able frontman, and occasionally you’ll hear a decent take – namely the Floydian tinged “The Art of Letting Go” that hears some really soothing falsettos and gentle melodies – but his raspy croons on a song like “Roll Me Over” or his performance on “Finest Hour” had me confused I was hearing a Velvet Revolver album. It’s so distracting at times and ultimately left me judging songs by how Jeff tried to sound like Weiland than hearing the pieces on their own merits.

If you are an avid fan of the band, like Alice in Chains, you’ll probably find something redeemable here. It certainly tries to sound like a Stone Temple Pilots album, but I can’t help looking past the veil and seeing a desperate attempt to carry the name on, when the best thing to do would be moving onto other creative ventures. It’s not terrible, just deliberate, and with this approach comes the loss of their edge and energy – Weiland or not, this album could never be saved, but when he isn’t here to tell the tale, it just makes everything feel that much worse.

Poor.

EDITION: DIGITAL//C̶D̶//V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION: N/A



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Comments:Add a Comment 
DoofusWainwright
March 17th 2018


20004 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Just a' tradin' on the name now

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2018


14570 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

hard

Digging: Iglooghost - Clear Tamei

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2018


8768 Comments


You’re on a streak Simon, pumping the reviews out

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2018


69 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this album is so bad. i cringed at how a band of this stature could approve this mixing job, these lyrics, these riffs, and think they were in any way similar to or worthy of being stacked up against what they were putting out on Core or Shangra La Di Da. And, deary me, in Jeff Gutt they've found one of the most indistinct vocalists ever.



two things emerged from listening to this; Scott Weiland was the driving force behind their Smiths-cum-G'n'R sound, and this band ought to just pack it in or stick to touring the classics.

Digging: Travis Scott - Astroworld

DoofusWainwright
March 17th 2018


20004 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I think all their quirks and certainly anything that even approached this band having an edge was provided by Weiland. I mean his solo effort ‘12 Bar Blues’ was as eccentric a release as ‘Tiny Songs’ - that was Scott’s thing.

jmh886
March 17th 2018


2067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

new alice in chains is good though.

DoofusWainwright
March 17th 2018


20004 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Funny you should bring that up...

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2018


8381 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

nice one, Gonzo.. agreed, that glam sleaze that Weiland wielded (hehe) so naturally is irreplaceable and was the very spirit of the band..

Digging: A.C. Temple - Blowtorch

PostMesmeric
March 17th 2018


725 Comments


Am I the only one who thinks it's ridiculous to make more than one self-titled album? So you have to put the year in the title just to avoid confusing people?

And good review too.

DoofusWainwright
March 17th 2018


20004 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It’s self titled cos reeeeinvenshun

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2018


8381 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

https://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands/Chicago/1552/

DoofusWainwright
March 17th 2018


20004 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Their album titles are the worst in the business...



1. Core - ok, nice and simple, gonna be the Jesus Lizard of grunge

2. ‘Purple’/ST - erm, is this self titled or the purple album, a bit of intrigue...ok

3. Tiny Music...Songs from the Vatican Giftshop - ok, a curveball, the anti-Core of album titles, perhaps this is the band finding their personality, I’ll expect more of the same to follow

4. ‘4’ - wtf, numbered album with really cheap looking art, trying to side with the classics like Zeppelin and Sabbath? But on this album that’s a bit weaker? Hmmm.

5. Shangri-la-Dee-da - wtf, the Vatican gift shop is open again?

6. S/T - and then back to this. Not ‘6’. Not a colour like purple. No gift shop. Self titled (maybe the second self titled but ok)

7. S/T - wtf. I give up.



bgillesp
March 17th 2018


5632 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The new AIC vocalist doesn't sound like Staley much at all. Not unless you're referring to the sound they create when either lead vocalist harmonizes with Jerry Cantrell who is not dead and has sung on all their albums.

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2018


8381 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

yea, as much I want to like to the goodwill fans have towards alice in chains, their output since staley's death is spiritless, even if the instrumentals are decent.. he was too an integral part of the band.

deathschool
March 17th 2018


22568 Comments


I wish they'd stop.

Digging: Travis Scott - Astroworld

deathschool
March 17th 2018


22568 Comments


Also, how are they gonna release two self-titled LPs in a row?

Divaman
March 17th 2018


2636 Comments


I wasn't even that crazy about the Pilots back in the day. They had some OK songs, but they were mostly warmed over Nirvana/Pearl Jam. I'll definitely be skipping this one.

Digging: ho-ro - Hex

deathschool
March 17th 2018


22568 Comments


That's the thing. I wish they would stop mainly for their own good. They left a mediocre legacy at best, and now they're just dragging it down even more. Sure, they had a couple of good albums, but I mean... They're just the grunge band that never quite made the same impression as their most obvious influences.

Divaman
March 17th 2018


2636 Comments


For whatever it's worth, though, John from ARTV gave this a good review.

DoofusWainwright
March 17th 2018


20004 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Three self titled albums in random placing in a discog is bizarre



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