I hate to say this but since Scott Weiland was fired from Stone Temple Pilots last time I gave up on him. I hoped he would turn his life around, but the last memory I had before today was the awful clips of his live shows and the audio clips where he seems out of it during interviews.
I had never even thought of buying this album when it came out earlier this year. Then the awful news we got last night( I, like most people assumed it was drug related, but news has just surfaced that it was probably a heart attack). Since I have all of his STP and Velvet Revolver stuff, but none of his solo albums, or albums with the Wildabouts, I had to rectify that. I bought this album and 12 Bar Blues(review coming).
The photography on the cover and on the insert is amazing. Even more touching is the fact that all the photos were taken by Scott’s wife, Jamie Weiland(formerly Wachtel). The front cover drew me right in. I am an old school dude that loves Boom boxes, ghetto blasters, whatever you want to call them. I have 5 old ones, including the killer Kaboom. Here’s a hint to any band out there. Put a blaster on the front of your album and I will buy it. As for the insert photography, one picture really touched me. The second last picture on the insert is a close up of Scott & Jamie Weiland. They look happy. I feel for her and his kids today.
Modzilla – Cool guitar effects and buzz start this song off. Then the vocals perk up in a way we(by we I mean the huge percentage of us that only know him through STP and/or Velvet Revolver) have never heard from Scott Weiland. The guitar goes off into the upper reaches of solo territory few artists delve into. I wish I had heard more of Jeremy Brown before today.
Way She Moves – Has a tiny bit of an STP flavour, but in a more catchy, pop, bluesy kind of way. I think his Wildabouts go off to areas STP would not go. More cool guitar work from Jeremy Brown here.
Hotel Rio – Clapping and drums start this song off. Then the guitar kicks in. This guy was really, really good. Catchy lyrics, and beat get your toes tapping, and may even get you up doing your best air guitar. I am really getting into this album only 3 songs in.
Amethyst – The song starts off with 80’s style keyboards and Beatles harmonies. Then it gets a little heavier and morphs into a song all its own.
White Lightning – Heavy, droaning song. Sounds more based in sludge/stoner than anything grunge. Trippy effects added to the vocals accentuate the song. It forces you to turn it up and may even cause your head to nod in approval. Great guitar work as usual, but the drums and bass also show up for the party here.
Blue Eyes – Sorry, no Frank Sinatra. Believe it or not this is almost an 80’s, British Electronic/New Wave style song. Can you imagine STP doing New Wave? No freaking way. New Wave was not my favourite style of music, but I commend them for trying it. The guitar work(including guest appearance by James Iha) morphs this back into a rock song, but the mixing of the two styles is unique and quite refreshing.
Bleed Out – Drums and guitar start this off. Then Scott pipes up and makes you sit up and take notice. His voice is in absolute peak form here. He is in complete control of this song. I would have loved to have witnessed him record this song in person. So good.
Youth Quake – Again a British New Wave style song. I can almost hear a British accent in his voice. This type of song could have gained the band a whole new audience, and not be pigeon holed into a certain style. If only New Wave bands had decided to include a sweet guitar solo into the middle of their songs. I might have listened to more of them.
Beach Pop – Pop is right in the title. Of course this would have a pop influence. Light and airy. Almost a throwback to the 50’s, with better drumming. I could easily hear this song pop up on a 50’s diner juke box. On added nice touch is the Steven Tyler like screeching near the end of the song.
Parachute – Awesome guitar brings us back to 2015. The band may have dabbled with New wave, and 50’s styles, but this is a modern rock band. They let you know that here. The background vocals help with the effect.
20th Century Boy – A modern(sort of) cover of the T Rex song. Hard to improve on the original. Girlschool and Def Leppard both did good versions. I actually prefer this version to all of them though. It has the best guitar work of all of them, the drumming is hard and fast, the bass is booming, and Scott’s voice is in peak form. All I can suggest is turn it up real loud. GREAT cover.
Circles – Ok. So far this album has had rock, New Wave, 50’s style music, cover songs and now a sort of country/folk music song. Some guy named The Sheriff(not Faron Young) does the steel guitar here, and does a commendable job. Scott sounds awesome here. He could have easily put out a folk or country album and shoot to the top of the charts. Really, really nice song. I could pop this song on Sunday mornings and watch the sunrise. It is another refreshing change.
Since Scott was the second member of the band to pass away this year(guitarist Jeremy Brown died days before the album release), this will probably be last thing we hear from this band. Too bad. They were diverse and way better than I thought they would be.