Stone Temple Pilots - Stone Temple Pilots (2018) Album Review
Stone Temple Pilots have managed to maintain their iconic sound, with Jeff Gutt seamlessly replacing the deceased Scott Weiland. Stone Temple Pilots (2018) is interestingly named, as it is the second self-titled album by the band in a row. Stone Temple Pilots have never been afraid to experiment with other genres which continues here, although not in a capacity that is groundbreaking in the context of this last decades wave of alternative artists. But even though it does not offer much in the way of anything new for music going forward, Stone Temple Pilots are at least able to make the album a consistent and cohesive listen.
The first two singles, ‘Roll Me Under” and “Meadow” are solid hard rock tracks, with heavy guitars, good riffs and typical vocal delivery for 2000’s era hard rock, which is nice to hear in the absence of the style over the past decade. They are standard fare, and sound like any hard rock songs would from this era. “The Art of Letting Go,” which feels like a tribute to Weiland, is the standout song on the album. It shows that Stone Temple Pilots are able to delve into various styles of the alternative genre and that the band has the potential to evolve further. The beautiful alternative ballad feels moody, invoking feelings of walking alone on a rainy day. “Though She’d Be Mine” is a lighter alternative song with clean guitars and Gutt providing cleaner vocals than the gruffness on the rest of the album.
A minor complaint is that some of the guitar riffs on the album sound very similar, especially in the intros of songs, with the drum, beats being guilty of the same. But at the same time, Stone Temple Pilots manages to change the sound on each song up a bit, so it is not as noticeable. Even if the sound can sometimes be very similar, it is consistently above average. This is only apparent in a few songs, but the differences are more subtle. The lyrical content isn’t spectacular besides on the two atypical songs, but for hard rock, the instrumentals are more important than the vocals. The theme isn’t obvious, but it feels like the band is using its creative outlet to mourn Weiland and to honor him.
When debuting a new singer, consistency and being able to maintain the current sound is more important than taking a dramatic risk. If the shift is too drastic, like Sublime with Rome, it will turn many fans aways. Stone Temple Pilots accomplish this transition beautifully, but at the cost of having a pretty generic, yet enjoyable album. The bulk of the songs stay true to the band’s established hard rock sound but are similar to each other in a sometimes problematic way. This may cause songs to get stale or blend together with multiple listenings. Still, the album is not devoid of risks, with “Reds and Blues” being a very light alternative song. The hard rock songs are reminiscent of mid-2000’s hard rock, and the alternative songs feel similar to the style of Foo Fighters’ Concrete Gold. Jeff Gutt’s vocal style is refreshing on the album since it is a cleaner delivery than some of the band’s earlier works, and other 2000’s hard rock bands, which makes it an easier listen.
Stone Temple Pilots showed that they have potential with Gutt going forwards, and it would be interesting to see more alternative tracks on the next album. If this album is the foundation of what the band will be going forward, then the future is stable and promising.
Owen Paiva is a freshman majoring in Film/Video. To contact him, email email@example.com
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