Review: ‘Stone Temple Pilots’

Review: ‘Stone Temple Pilots’: Aidin Vaziri | Scott Weiland just doesn’t care. On his first studio album with Stone Temple Pilots in nearly a decade, the man who has repeatedly let substance abuse problems threaten to derail his career and personal life comes kicking through the door as bullheaded as ever. Over the chugging riffs of the opening track, “Between the Lines” – a close cousin of the Vines’ “Outtathaway” – he bellows, “You always were my favorite drug/ Even when we used to take drugs.” It’s not a particularly original analogy, but it’s one few can make with such raspy-voiced authority. The grunge pariahs’ self-titled sixth studio album sounds far more potent than it rightfully should, with Weiland breathing fire through glammed-up tracks such as “Take a Load Off” and “Fast as I Can” while guitarist Dean DeLeo peels off some of the meatiest riffs of his career. The group may never sound anything more than generic – “First Kiss on Mars” sounds like a knockoff of a Bowie knockoff – but in the moment it’s hard to argue with the gut-punching force of a bunch of guys facing middle age with something to prove.

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