SXSW SPOTLIGHT: Stone Temple Pilots Crash and Burn With New Songs At Austin Music Hall

Photos by Andrew Parks

The Artist & Their Latest Release: Stone Temple Pilots, Stone Temple Pilots (due out 5/25 on Atlantic)

The Showcase: StubHub @ Austin Music Hall, 3.18.10

The Set in a Few Sentences: We’re not gonna lie. The angry adolescent in us was psyched to see Stone Temple Pilots’ long-awaited reunion…until we heard their new songs. While SPIN was quick to call their self-titled sixth album–and first since 2001’s Shangri-La Dee Da–”classic STP,” self-titled heard something else entirely: the frantic but flat sound of a band who may have been better off absolutely hating one another. After all, having a volatile, rehab-resistant vocalist at their helm meant records that were as rocky and unpredictable as most love-or-hate relationships. (Hate on STP if you must, but Purple and Tiny Music…Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop had some profoundly weird but poppy moments on them. Yep, we went there.)

So while Scott Weiland claimed that this reunion is for us not them, we find that hard to believe when even they looked more interested in playing “Big Empty,” “Vaseline,” “Interstate Love Song,” and “Plush,” a track the sinewy singer first introduced as “another new song.” Nice joke, man. If only it were true…

And a Letter Grade: C+