STP has a new record called Stone Temple Pilots. Not to be confused with the STP 2010 release Stone Temple Pilots. Wait, are you allowed to do that? 2 self titled releases in a row? As far as this writer is concerned, the Brothers DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz can do what they want as to what they’ve been through with lead singers, and all. This isn’t a history lesson, though, check Wikipedia for that.

As previously stated, the surviving three are back alongside new frontman, former The X Factor contestant & Scott Weiland voice clone, Jeff Gutt. The record opens up with a trio of scorchers. “Middle of Nowhere”, “Guilty” &, the first single, “Meadow”, all have what you have come to expect from STP.  Catchy songs with an obvious nod to the Classic Rock of the 70’s, most notably Led Zeppelin & Aerosmith, thanks to guitar god Dean DeLeo who is in top form. The riffs, the leads, the off time signatures, it’s all there.

STP then goes into swing mode starting with “Just a Little Lie” and it’s here that the rhythm section shines. Do yourself a favor and listen to this record on a home stereo when you get a chance. To hear these songs on a quality sound system is to appreciate the true talent of bassist Robert DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz.

It’s not until the track “The Art of Letting Go” that we hear Jeff Gutt. Let’s face it, he sounds like Weiland and, I suspect, that’s why he was hired. Up until this point on the record you forget about Jeff Gutt and just assume it’s Weiland. Not on this track, though. A soft rocker, with it’s clean guitar and clear rhythm patterns is more Air Supply than Black Sabbath. The emotional, new lead singer will bring a tear to your eye as Gutt wanes  “I hope to see your smile again but some day’s far too long of a road”. Hopefully, this is a preview of things to come from Gutt and crew as this listens as a more mature STP.

After a few solid deep tracks the album closer is “Red & Blues” with the band drawing off the psych blues vibe they do so well. It should be noted that the record is produced by the Brothers DeLeo, as they have for the past two records, and their producing chops have only gotten better with time

Lastly,I see Jeff Gutt gets writing credit on the whole record. This leads fans and critics alike to assume he’s THE singer moving forward and this isn’t just a one off project. This is a good thing as Rock needs all of it’s top notch personnel front and center, the Foo fighters can’t do it all by themselves. With this release STP further cements their position among the top tier alt rock acts of the 90’s through to the present & into the future.