Monday, March 2, 2015

SCOTT WEILAND and The Wildabouts: "Blaster"

Rating: RRRr
Label: earMUSIC/Edel 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Now that's a wicked Ghetto Blaster on the front cover. Those things were heavy as f**k and could easily kill a person if used properly. The same goes for STP (that's Stone Temple Pilots) and their L.A. grungetastic sound of the nineties. Weiland used to front the act as well as Velvet Revolver in the past. His latest release, featuring the backing band of The Wildabouts, speak of everything from KISS (quite a lot of it actually -guitar wise) to grungy STP melodies and the glammy acts of the swinging seventies. A little bit of Bowie, Iggy, Mott The Hoople, and of course T-Rex, since there's yet another bloody cover of "20th Century Boy" to be found on this platter. One of those songs that we don't really need another version of to be honest.

The very quick track by track. The first single off the album "White Lightning" has a really doomy/gloomy riff and the melody is not really representative for the rest of the album. I quite like that riff and bass, however, the chorus part is sort of lacking? The following track, "Blue Eyes", the direct opposite to the previous one since it's just a lush and great semi-ballad in the style of 70's Bowie met STP. The raw and mean guitar riff on opening track "Modzilla" had me at first thinking about 'Unholy' as in Gene $immons and KISS. Dirty, sludgy, grungy, but rather clean vocals? it's the Pilots on a mission to mars. The following track is again very much the direct opposite. "Way She Moves" reeks of Mott The Hoople and the seventies groove. "Hotel Rio", superb surfer rock met the typical Weiland hook. "Amethyst", probably the best of the bunch with its lovely chorus part and melody. "Bleed Out", takes the garage attitude and approach while, "Youth Quake", could almost have been on the latest Billy Idol album. "Beach Pop", the 60's stuff which influenced The Ramones.

Walking the dog with my monkey's alligator? Some really weird lyric moment on "Parachute" and it's all very Sgt. Pepper and Beatlesque. Great moment though. The album closes with "Circles" and yet another different take on music. It's the mellow ballad in the country and folk-music tradition and it's all good. And that's pretty much it really. There's only one way to describe this album. A mixed bag with a different sound to every other track. The overall impression is however good and I'm surprised over how much I enjoy this CD. I didn't expect anything considering his previous solo stuff and that awful X-mas thingy! The strong 3 R's or the weak 4? I decided to go with the in between.

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