Just Shut Up

The still remains of the Stone Temple Pilots have recruited a

virtually

unknown vocalist and rechristened themselves as Talk Show,

essentially

giving rock critics the easiest band name to play with since

Cinderella. Great.

Unfortunately, new vocalist Dave Coutts (late of Ten Inch Men),

drummer

Eric Krets and string siblings Dean and Rob DeLeo won't be

performing at

the ball this time around. Their "debut" twists and turns and reeks

of

all that is Jenny Jones -- because when all is said and done, Talk

Show is

nothing more than a snazzy makeover and a loud studio

audience. Let's be

honest here -- no one would give a damn about Talk Show if not

for the

Stone Temple Pilots. Talk Show is essentially the sequel without

the sexy, big-

name star -- this year's Speed II of rock 'n' roll.

However, this might be how the next Stone Temple Pilots record

would've

sounded anyway, given Coutts' perfect take on Scott Weiland's

nasal gnarl.

As has been said of STP, Talk Show reveal their influences too

obviously,

leaving the listener with that overwhelming feeling of "where have

I heard this

before?"

"Hello Hello," the album's lead single, steals generously from

Aerosmith's

"Sweet Emotion," with heavy doses of wah-wah guitars and tense

but whiny

vocal skids. Coutts is undoubtedly the perfect replacement for

Weiland.

However, the DeLeos seem to have stumbled hard upon the

almighty "riff,"

sending the poppy Pilots sound into the classic rock stratosphere.

The inevitable crunch of sound kills the flow behind "End Of The

World" and

opening track "Ring Twice," the latter of which features some

painfully whiny

vocals during the chorus. "Everybody Loves My Car" is catchy, as

is "Hide," as

both stay calm on the chops and concentrate on some sort of

melody.

Unfortunately, you can't help but burst into air guitar, and after 13

tracks of the

stuff, the neck is tired and the makeshift overbite leaves quite the

red mark

on the chin.

Yet, beneath Talk Show's dirt are tracks such as "Wash Me

Down" and

the breathy "Peeling An Orange." "Peeling An Orange" has an

acoustic,

Southern California vibe with playful harmonica whirs and equally

whimsical lines such as "Peeling an orange outside/ I'm very

optimistic /

Sometimes the acid stings my eyes..." And "Wash Me Down," with

its soft

tribal beats and swaying string work, resides in the same vain as

STP's

"Interstate Love Song," and could be just as big a hit.

It was the lush, unplugged side of the DeLeo brothers which

best measured their skills. Their MTV "Unplugged" performance

from a

few years back was quite a spectacle. Unfortunately, Talk Show

rely

on chords and riffs, chops and cuts. Although it's the prettiest

Aerosmith effort since Toys In The Attic (with plenty of

classic Cheap

Trick thrown in for good measure), it's safe to say that no one

would care about Talk Show had it not been for STP.

But who would've given a damn about the Pilots if it hadn't been

for

grunge? What goes around comes around. Next up: the Scott

Weiland solo

album. I can hardly wait.