12 Bar Blues Import
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Imagine throwing Tom Watts, David Bowie and Trent Reznor in a blender...and you'd get something like this...
"12 Bar Blues" is far different from anything that Weiland released in either STP or Velvet Revolver. If you are a fan of Stone Temple Pilots or VR, this album may not appeal to you, because it's not really a "rock" album. Rather, "12 bar Blues" is a much more eclectic, diverse collection of songs. The album is rather electronic, with effects, etc. And Unlike STP or VR, this isn't really a guitar and riff driven album.
And while each song sounds unique and different, the album still manages to flow perfectly. Each song is well crafted, arranged, and well written with a good hook. Out of the 12 songs on this CD, I don't consider anything to be filler. I can't name a standout tune, because really, each song is terrific. To me, the songs read like a diary of a tortured soul, but without sounding whiny or full of self-pity.
"Desperation #5," for example, should have been released as a single. With despairing, cryptic, mournful lyrics and a buzzsaw of a guitar riff that will knock you on [...], this was a great leadoff choice for the album. Oddly, the cumbersome and disjointed "Barbarella" was the misguided choice for a single. Other better tunes that would have worked as radio singles and sold Weiland more albums include "About Nothing," "Divider" (pleasant lounge sound) and the ultra-sheeny rocker "Opposite Octave Reaction."
As for Weiland's voice, it's produced in a purposely distorted mixture of glammy sheen and a tinge of grittiness that's likely to trip up Stone Temple Pilots Core listeners. But great musicians surrounded Weiland on "12 Bar Blues," no doubt learning to play what Weiland could only hum or lightly strum on a guitar; undoubtedly, his musician friends pulled through for him. Still, Weiland did a formidable job with this disc. Those not willing to grow with their favorite artists won't even hear this album half the way through. However, if you're up for experimentation -- plastic guitars stretched to the nines, spacey lounge, dated industrial, soft guitar and piano, stretched vocals, weird lyrics, Irish barroom odes, techno rock and glam -- check out "12 Bar Blues." I don't know what this guy was on when he wrote some of these unique tunes, nor what was going on in his life, but despite his condition it sounds like Weiland was having a great time in the studio, twiddling knobs and God knows what else.