Release Date: 31st March
Released by: Softdrive Records
Genre: Hard Rock
Scott Weiland – Lead Vocals,Guitar,Keyboards
Tommy Black – Bass
Danny Thompson – Drums
Jeremy Brown – Guitars
2.Way She Moves
11.20th Century Boy
If you were like me, your head probably done several revolutions when Scott Weiland released his Christmas covers album, The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, back in 2011. Not that it was a bad album, as Christmas albums go, it more than holds it’s own. But after a three year gap from “Happy” in Galoshes, his last proper studio album, a lot of people were left open mouthed. So when I heard a new studio album was imminent, I was afraid it might be a collection of Gregorian chant music or Avant-Garde Jazz. ThankfullyWeiland is back on familiar ground with Blaster, along with his band The Wildabouts.
Though not as arty as Weiland‘s first two solo albums, it still maintains creepy unpredictably throughout, starting with funk and garage vibes of Modzilla. The opening chords to Way She Moves right away catch your ear with a distinct Stones, Bowie feel. But the vocals are 100% Weiland, cocksure with a carefree swagger.
Danny Thompson‘s pummelling beat introduces Hotel Rio, a song that glides along with not an awful lot happening, bar the chorus which is deliciously addictive. But this album comes to life with Amethyst, a song draped in singular quirkiness that only Weiland can deliver. There’s no need to adjust your sets on White Lightning, the former Velvet Revolver and Stone Temple Pilots front man gets on a Muddy Waters meets T-Rex groove, something he probably wouldn’t have attempted in his previous bands. So much so, you can sense a vein of freedom protruding in his performance. If everything Scott Weiland writes from here on in is complete pants, he will always have Blue Eyes. The Gothic induced melodies immediately takes hold of you with all the power of a full nelson, this more than excuses his Christmas shenanigans.
Bleed Out doesn’t quite reach the same heights, too much of a deliberate demo feel that frankly sounds a bit of a mess. The dark and gritty Youth Quake and the slightly off the wall Beach Pop smooth over the cracks a bit, but do leave a seed of doubt swinging precariously over the album. Jeremy Brown‘s effervescent riff work on Parachute give this collection a well needed shot in the arm, though the chorus is a tad lethargic and unimaginative. It’s a shame the highlight of this album came at the pen of someone else, that aside, his performance of the T-Rex classic 20th Century Boy is nothing short of exemplary, a brilliant reminder that this man can unleash real charisma when he wants. The wonderful country twang of Circles closes out what is a mixed bag, but a solid collection nonetheless.
Scott Weiland will probably never be a darling of the critics, and you sense in his music that really doesn’t bother him,and why should it.
RIP Jeremy Brown
Written by: Brian Boyle
Rating: Brian 7/10