The nine-year wait for new Stone Temple Pilots music ended Tuesday night in New York City.
During a listening party at the Gramercy Park Hotel's Rose Bar -- where Guns N' Roses rocked out one week earlier -- the San Diego-bred quartet debuted their self-titled reunion album, their first since 2001's Shangri-La Dee Da, due out on May 25.
Singer Scott Weiland, bassist Robert DeLeo, guitarist Dean DeLeo, and drummer Eric Kretz all attended the event, mingling with industry types like Warner Music CEO (and former Run-DMC tour manager) Lyor Cohen, as waiters handed out free drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
Atlantic Records Chairman and CEO Craig Kallman, who signed the band in the early '90s, delivered a speech before playing the album. He recalled hearing demos of Might Joe Young (STP's first name) and flying to L.A. to watch the band perform. He praised the quartet's talent, workmanship, and influence, and even compared them to Led Zeppelin. He then rattled off a list of stats -- more than 35 million records sold, 15 top ten singles, a No. 1 record with 1994's Purple, a Grammy, and more. And when he pushed play, it was obvious why.
The new album is classic STP. Its 12 tracks have the band's signature blend of tuneful melodies and rock guitar crunch, psychedelic solos and impressive crooning courtesy of Scott Weiland, who looked healthy and dapper in a snazzy suit coat. A few hard-hitting tracks featured tuneful, Beatles-esque songwriting, and a pair of songs on the album's second half slowed the tempo, a la "Sour Girl," with acoustic guitar and strong lead vocals from Weiland.
A tracklisting has yet-to-be announced, but among the 12 songs are "Huckleberry Crumble" and "Between the Lines," which Robert DeLeo recently described to SPIN.com as "musically like Paul Revere and the Raiders, with that '60s sound that I've always been a fan of."
"Fans are going get a great STP record... a really cohesive record with songs that are going to be lasting," he added. "We know what STP sounds like -- we have a sonic blueprint."
After a full play of the new album, Weiland took the mic at the Rose Bar to address the crowd. He thanked the attendees for their unwavering support and praised his band members' top-notch work with the instrumentation. "What about the vocals! The vocals! The vocals!" Dean DeLeo shouted from the back of the room. "Well, I've never been one to flatter myself," joked Weiland.