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Album Review: High Rise by Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington


When Chester Bennington signed on to be Stone Temple Pilots’ new frontman, I was skeptical. I was a young teenager (13 or so) when the first STP album (Core) came out. It was a great time in music, with the the 90’s bands in all their glory and STP had a place among them. They had a unique sound, not only from the musical side, but from the vocal side as well. Scott Weiland had a distinct voice, and it bobbed and weaved its way through the music in a beautiful and creative way. Admittedly, they were not my favorite band at the time, but I bought their albums and liked them well enough. I grew up watching their videos and seeing them being interviewed by (the then respectable) MTV network. I witnessed them winning awards and being apart of summer festivals.

I stayed with the band clear up to the album, Tiny Music From The Vatican Gift Shop. When No.4 came out, I didn’t really care for the singles and that is where I parted ways with STP. I haven’t listened to, or bought an STP album since. Until now.

Through an odd twist of circumstances, I’ve gained quite a few Linkin Park fans in my online world. It’s not that I’m not an LP fan, because I am. I’ve always enjoyed their music and I own their albums, but I’m not what some would call a “super fan”. Super fans are an interesting group of people, and over the last three years or so I’ve gotten to know a few of them. Having said that, LP are not my favorite; but I really do like them, and I’ve always especially enjoyed Chester Bennington’s vocal abilities. Having him join STP after Weiland fell off the deep end was odd and left a sort of…but what about Scott? kind of feeling. Scott has always been the face of STP, and even more so, their voice. That distinct voice. But then again, Chester has a distinct voice as well. And boy does he use it!


Chester has managed to style his vocal abilities seamlessly with the unique sound of STP -on both the old catalog of favorites like Vasoline, Pop’s Love Suicide, and Creep as well as the new songs that appear on their debut EP. I was both shocked and well pleased at how he has been able to slide into Weiland’s spot and absolutely nail it. I bought the EP when it came out and I am completely satisfied with it. My only complaint is that it’s not longer. Five songs is quite the tease, but like all good teases, that’s part of the fun.

And so I say, bring on more! I wish Scott all the best, and I hope he can pull things together from where he is, but I think the remaining members of STP made the perfect choice by bringing Chester into the fold. If you’re an STP fan at all, you’ll probably like the High Rise EP. It is very distinctly Stone Temple Pilots. The first time I listened to it, it was like daydreaming into the past, back into the world of good 90’s rock music.



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