Stone Temple Pilots – “High Rise” [EP] (2013)

After a three-year break from recording new material; Grammy award-winning rock band Stone Temple Pilots are back with their latest EP, High Rise released on October 8th, 2013 through their own independent label Play Pen LLC.

Featuring a different lineup from past releases; High Rise is the first recorded material with Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington at the helm, who joined the band in May 2013 after a highly publicized split with their original vocalist Scott Weiland earlier that year. While this was not the first time that members of Stone Temple Pilots have recorded music with another vocalist (the DeLeo brothers [sans STP drummer Eric Kretz] had previously collaborated with Filter vocalist Richard Patrick on the supergroup “Army of Anyone”), it marks the first time in the band’s 20 year history that another vocalist has assumed leadership roles in Stone Temple Pilots, making a huge change to the face of an already well-established band.

With a totally new lyricist and vocalist at the forefront, fans are undoubtedly going to be divided over whether or not this is a smart move or a step in the wrong direction. Fortunately; Chester appears to have fully understood his new role in the band, crafting 5 well-written tracks that simultaneously move the band forward while paying homage to the former days with Scott. At a very brief 17 minutes, High Rise is a quick firecracker of a record, filled with energetic (albeit brief) tracks that showcase the band’s versatility and creativity, whilst giving tribute to their roots and the music that came before it.

On some of the more “classic STP” tracks (Out of Time and Tomorrow) Chester does a wonderful job of channeling his predecessor, whilst “Black Heart”, “Cry, Cry” and the arena-rock oriented “Same On The Inside” put Chester’s unique abilities on full display, moving the band in a new direction whilst showcasing some of the best vocal performances from Bennington in years.

While many fans will be left craving for more by the time the EP comes to close; and left to wonder how a full album would sound with Chester, they can rest at ease that the fate of Stone Temple Pilots is in good hands. The future of the band is looking bright, and it will be interesting to see where the band heads on future releases.

BONUS: Read our interview with Chester Bennington regarding his time with Stone Temple Pilots, here.

Derek Oswald:

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