April 1998
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Music review--Scott Weiland: I Am Where I Am Today Because of Heroin.

By Mark Egle

Another member from the world of grunge has gone solo. Headman of the immortal Stone Temple Pilots Scott Weiland has joined the likes of Chris Cornell, and Jerry Cantrell and taken his act solo. 12 Bar Blues is Weiland's first solo effort that seems to have been sprung from a heroin addiction. We all remember his highly publicised rehab attempt in 96 that led to his alienation with the DeLeo brothers of STP, who have been busy with their side project Talk Show. So how does Weiland do without his long-time string section? Well, a hell of a lot better than Talk Show. Much of the album revolves around a convergence of rock guitar and basic electronica, a style that has become popular with bands such as Radiohead, and The Smashing Pumpkins.

The first half of the album seems to have a lot of fluff to it. Songs such as Desperation #5, and About Nothing have a lot of focus on the music, but fail to capture the depth of Weiland's impecable voice. At this point an unattentive listener might find the receipt and exchange the album for Chumbawumba or something. Keep listening though. On the second half, producer Blair Lamb seems to tap the goldmine hidden deep within Weiland's vocal chords. The arrangement is stunning. The music compliments his voice perfectly, and seems to capture the true essence of Weiland, something the DeLeo brothers were never able to do.. Songs like The Date, and Jimmy Was A Stimulator are powerfully written and will help Weiland establish himself outside of STP. Now, the question the record companies want to ask, is the album marketable? I'm sure every STP fan has already bought it. Although, I don't know how many 13 and 14 year olds have a lot of money. The album's first cut Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down attracted a lot of attention and other tracks including the album's only ballad Where's the Man could be an instand hit on the radio. Weiland could have a longer lasting success than STP's short lived acclaim after their first album Core. For all you real STP fans though, the band supposedly has not broken up and plans to reunite sometime. Lets hope not. We've heard this before though from bands like Alice in Chains, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and dare I say it Guns N Roses, who have not produced any real work for quite some time now. I say Weiland should stay solo and escape from the malignant tomer called STP. If I was in that band I'd be on Heroin too.

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