The Core of Things in the Countdown

Stone Temple Pilot’s Core

STP’s debut album Core is an incredible-dance-in-your-living-room-fest album filled with contemplative lyrics, oddities and a lot of incredible music.  It is a must have.  I cannot speak for “new” STP from whence Scott Weiland was ousted from his own band (and maybe rightly so, but again, we don’t know the real story).  Either way, do yourself a favor and revisit this gem.

The opener, “Dead and Bloated” starts with a raspy lyric that explodes into crawling full-blown rock with definitive drum taps and driving bass.  This is perhaps one of their most dynamic tracks, going into a lilting chorus with “whooooa yeah-eh-yeahs.”  What exactly does Weiland mean?  Well, this is one time where I let the music take over.  This particular track has incited a dialogue with my husband and me.  We always speak to one another in lyrics anyway, and I always get these particular lyrics wrong.

Some of my favorites:

“Plush”

and

“Wicked Garden”

In a little under one hour, this album drives a consistent beat throughout.  I recommend it for a road trip album more than definitely so.

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Opening the lid on Jar of Flies

Alice in Chains Jar of Flies

Weighing in at only 30 m 52 s, this cup of instrumental genius is filled to the brim with…no, not with flies…but with dark and melodic nuances, and Staley’s unique voice.  The lyrics at times are melancholy but never lack the authenticity with which you will always find in this band.  “We chase misprinted lies…we face the path of time…”  “if I can’t be my own, I’d be better dead.”  A haunting sentiment from a singer who battled with addiction until it overtook him–into a different beyond.

As usual, Cantrell’s pointed and clean guitar playing and harmonic background vocals give this four-piece set a mellow and haunting feel.  It’s not a minor thing, though…when the band explodes into this uplifting, hopeful chords, it can bring tears to a listener’s eyes.  After two solemn openers, we are greeted with a lilting, uplifting howl from Staley that emits hope from the deep recesses of depression in which we have retreated to to be with this album.

My particular favorites from this album are “Whale & Wasp” and “No Excuses.”  “Whale…” is an instrumental piece with strings that might make you feel like Vivaldi married an acoustic electric guitar.  “No Excuses” is a power-packed, snare drum heavy celebration of music.

All in all, Jar of Flies is a must-have for those of us, especially those, who are authentic Alternative rock fans.  Open the lid.

Be well and rock on,

Rachael