Stone Temple Pilots: High Rise EP

San Diego rockers return with a new yet familiar face

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Who could begrudge Stone Temple Pilots their own second coming? For much of the 1990s the DeLeo brothers were forced to sit on their hands as the recreational habits of their gifted, yet mercurial, frontman caused opportunities to go a-begging.

The band’s decision to recruit Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington to replace Scott Weiland has proved controversial (and is currently being tested in the courts) but their debut EP goes some way to vindicating their judgement. Chester may not possess Scott’s louche swagger, but his vocal ability has never been in question, and across these five tracks he steps up boldly, with confident performances which bode well for the union’s future.

Out Of Time is a solid modern rock radio teaser, but Black Heart and Tomorrow are rather more intriguing: the former a joyful Beatles-meet-Cheap Trick stomp, the latter a soaring psychedelic ballad that rekindles fond memories of 1996’s Tiny Music… collection. A promising return.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.