Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stone Temple Pilots, "Interstate Love Song"

I never understood why the Stone Temple Pilots put up with Scott Weiland for as long as they did. He's a charismatic frontman, but also a bad lyricist and only a decent vocalist. Maybe Eric Kretz and the DeLeos were more willing to overlook Scott's ego and unreliability after they sold eight millions records with him, but Weiland is hardly the kind of talent that inspires musicians to give Axl Rose or Dave Mustaine second, third and tenth chances. One look at the band's songwriting credits would tell you that bassist Robert DeLeo is far more crucial to their sound.

Now that Weiland has been kicked out again, I'm revisiting "Interstate Love Song," everyone's favorite STP track. Savaged by critics as third-rate Pearl Jam (before anyone had ever suffered through Creed) when it was released, it holds up today as one of the '90s best rock radio tracks. Everything that's great about STP's arena-alt hookiness clicks here--I love how busy Robert's bass-playing is under those indelible Dean riffs. With more modern bands like Black Mountain and Tame Impala currently giving dad rock a post-punk makeover, "Interstate Love Song" even sounds innovative.

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