If I asked you who would you get to replace Scott Weiland as singer of Stone Temple Pilots, I would guess that you would name at least a hundred names before even coming close to Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington. So when the news broke earlier this year that the Linkin Park singer was the bands replacement for the departed Weiland it did raise a few eyebrows and had one or two people questioning how in god’s name this collaboration was going to work. With the release of the group’s first EP “High Rise,” the group have answered that question, not well at all.
First things first, this is not a return to the bands early sound like “Core” and “Purple,” first single ‘Out of Time’ has glimpses of the sleaze rock vibe of songs like ‘Sex Type Thing’ but the album never really follows up on this promising start. The EP seems to be a continuation of the bands last album with Scott which explored more psychedelic Beatles influences rather than the filthy grungy vibe of the bands previous albums.
Chester himself is not that bad a singer in his own band, but he really does not suite singing this style of rock with his voice. So what occurs is Chester Bennington trying to his best Scott Weiland impression on all these songs, which is almost like listening to a Camp Freddy set. This has disastrous consequences at points; especially on track two, ‘Black Heart’ which sounds as if he has was possessed by Liam Gallagher of all people. Even the vocal lines are very distinctly Scott vocal lines, as if these songs where written when he was still in the band and now he has left (or been fired.)
The five track EP is at best mediocre, nothing really gets going at any point during its running time, it just rumbles along at a very middle of the road pace. Is it offensively bad? No, it’s just very average and inoffensive, if this kind of music is your thing then there are half a dozen bands doing this sort of thing a whole lot better.