Way back when the grunge movement was going down and bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, and Alice in Chains were tearing it up, another band also came on the scene and got lumped into the mix. It's lead singer was even cited for being a copycat of Pearl Jam lead singer extraordinaire Eddie Vedder. Now, I am not breaking new ground here. What I am about to talk about has been discussed by others in the same framework, but FUCK IT - I'm having a moment of appreciation and don't give an eff if I'm just regurgitated what's already out there. I want to give my two cents.
I am a fan of all the bands I listed above... Pearl Jam's TEN was an amazing record that I listened to constantly... with that I would like to show a moment of love for Stone Temple Pilots. I remember when their debut album CORE came out and was equally blown away by the first single Sex Type Thing. I recall the riff being more powerful than most and Scott Weiland's voice ferocious. I took notice and quickly bought the CD. Virtually every track was worth of listening to - Dead & Bloated, Sex Type Thing, Plush, Crackerman, Creep, so on and so forth. A powerful debut. Now, again, this was during a time when the Seattle thing was happening and STP was assumed to be part of it. Not saying it's a bad thing, but it's easy to get lost in the mix when you're suddenly part of the trend. But for the most part they didn't get lost and were able to follow up the debut with some amazing works; songs like Vaseline, Big Empty, Big Bang Baby, etc., were as good as anything off of CORE.
So yes, I'd stuck with the band through the years for the most part and watched as the charismatic lead singer Scott Weiland did his thing... dressing in drag, like KISS, doing drugs, solo work reminiscent of Bowie, and side projects like Velvet Revolver... the guy has got a voice. As for his frontman cred his stage presence and moves are somewhere between Morrison, Bowie, and Jagger.
Sadly, as time marched on and I got older STP slowly faded away, the drama of Weiland's issues and the start and stop again touring left little to get excited about... STP was becoming the rock n roll cliche. Sure, every so often I would catch a classic STP song either on the radio or on the iPod shuff... but overall, I moved on.
In the past weeks I had even noticed a billboard on Sunset advertising a new STP record. Did I get excited? NOPE! Was I ready to buy? NOPE! Did I care? NOT REALLY!
Now I'm sure there are those of you who never left and never gave up on STP. And I'm not saying I gave up... I just moved on... so, I don't sit here today thinking I'm breaking some big news. It's just a chance for me to express a rediscovery on my part... this is more for me than you and if it inspires some others to get reacquainted... then great!
So, after returning home from a wine tasting (lame, I know, but shit it was Pahlmeyer... who is going to say no to fucking Pahlmeyer) - I took two hours to lay on the couch and absorb the mass amounts of red wine I had just consumed. As I put my head back into a newly purchased couch pillow from Target (hey, I've got some interior design skills) I turned on the TV and there it was... a 2010 concert STP put on in Chicago that was clearly part of the lead up to the new album which comes out May 25th, 2010... As I watched STP rip through the hits and the new stuff three things happened... I got excited, I was ready to buy, and once again I cared.
Scott Weiland and the rest of STP totally won me back and I look forward to hearing the new album. I also look forward to driving around L.A. and getting reacquainted with the STP albums on my iPod. Whatever Weiland has been through he appears to have come out the other side and his voice is as powerful as ever. The DeLeo brothers kill it on bass and lead guitar and Kretz does his thing on drums... across the board this band is tighter than ever. There is a reason this band has sold over 40 million albums worldwide... The new single Between The Lines is classic STP without sounding dated... it's a song that fits perfectly within their arsenal of jams.
I have yet to ever see them live, but am making a mental note as I type this that I will make an effort to do so this time around. The songs are timeless and hard hitting. While STP came about during the grunge trend they do not live there... they live on... Maybe you think I'm making a big deal about this, and you may say that the rise and fall and rise again potential of STP is just another part of the rock n roll cliche... but not all cliches are bad. It's only bad when the cliche ends with a dead lead singer who couldn't survive the pitfalls of the lifestyle. I am rooting for STP and I am rooting for Weiland. He is one of those performers that makes you want get on stage and strut it like he does... he embodies the essence of the quintessential frontman.
To STP I say this... keep at it and don't stop... You've earned me back as a fan.