So, Scott Weiland has been sacked and in comes Chester Bennington…oh yeah, and this is not a joke. Whilst the news that Weiland was on his way was hardly surprising; the closely following news that his place as vocalist in iconic rock band, Stone Temple Pilots, was to be taken by that bloke from Linkin Park, was a bit more out of the blue.
Seemingly from different worlds, the two parties have come together for this ‘High Rise’ E.P. As ludicrous as it might sound, it’s not too bad either.
Opening track, ‘Out of Time’ is the pick of the bunch. It has a typical Stone Temple Pilots romp to it and Chester doesn’t sound a million miles away from Scott Weiland when it comes down to it. Similarly ‘Black Heart’ has a trademark Weiland megaphone vocal to it and the accompanying riff is wonderfully bouncy; something to really get your head banging.
So far so good!
It’s when things are slowed down a bit that Chester perhaps suffers in his predecessor’s shadow. Trying to sing a ballad like ‘Same on the Inside’ or the nice high parts in ‘Cry Cry’ bring out the nasal traits in his voice and it can be a bit too sweet and a bit nauseating at times.
It’s a shame, as when he’s belting out the hard rock vocals he sounds great and he’s going to do classics like ‘Dead & Bloated’ some real justice on the live stage. A full live set will be the proof of the pudding.
So, what have we learned?
Well on the upside, Chester Bennington is much more tolerable when that bloke who does all the rapping in LP isn’t interrupting him after every sentence. He also does a decent Weiland impression and Stone Temple Pilots still know how to right some damn fine tunes. On the downside, you’ve got to feel Chester doesn’t quite have the range to cover the STP back catalogue, but this is by no means a write-off.