Temple Pilots - No. 4
is Back, and He Has Progressed
to have the Stone Temple Pilots back. Lead singer Scott Weiland
is out of jail for his drug problems and he's clean (hopefully
forever). The band will tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers
in the late summer. Their sound is revitalized, as evidenced
by the latest album, No. 4. It's like 1992 all over
the sound of a band with something to prove to a world which
had almost left them for dead. This album is much more based
in the band's hard rock roots, and the results sound much
more focused than on 1996's inconsistent Tiny Music
first bars of the opener "Down", it is clear that STP has
found its direction again and means business. The sixties
psychedelic era experimentation of Tiny Music hasn't
been totally dropped though. It can be heard clearly on songs
like "Church On Tuesday", "Sour Girl" or "I Got You".
the group's vocal harmonies sound almost too period-specific,
reminiscent not only of The Beatles, but also of music-industry
fabricated groups like The Partridge Family and The Monkees.
The band almost crosses the line of good taste, but the stylistic
diversity is impressive and is evidence of a band which is
so much more interesting and talented than some critics who
labeled them as simple Seattle grunge knockoffs early in their
career would make them out to be.
song on the album is the ballad "Atlanta" in which Weiland
does his best Jim Morrison impression is very effective. The
string arrangement and the fadeout to the marimba at the end
is impressive and shows yet another stylistic side of the
who better to do Morrison than Weiland? Their biographical
similarities in terms of substance abuse and trouble with
the law is almost scary. However, the main focus of this album
is in hard-rocking songs like "Down", "Heaven and Hot Rods"
"Sex & Violence" and "MC5".
no doubt that STP is back in full force and showing the freshness
and intensity of 1992's Core and 1994's Purple.
People who have seen them in concert recently all seem to
say that they've never looked or sounded better. Hopefully,
there will be a lot more to come. Just pray that Weiland stays