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 had 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 massive change to the face of an already well-established band.
With a new lyricist and vocalist at the forefront, fans will undoubtedly 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 five well-written tracks that simultaneously move the bar 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 while giving tribute to their roots and the music that came before it.
Stone Temple Pilots – High Rise: The End Verdict
Chester does a beautiful job of channeling his predecessor on some of the more “classic STP” tracks (Out of Time and Tomorrow). At the same time, “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 and showcasing some of the best vocal performances from Bennington in years.
While many fans will be left craving more by the time the EP comes to a 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 band’s future looks bright, and it will be interesting to see where it heads on future releases.
BONUS: Read our interview with Chester Bennington regarding his time with Stone Temple Pilots here.