Stone Temple Pilots-Core (DVD-Audio) (2000) (NTSC)
Gallery-Photo-6 stills of the band
Lyrics-In booklet and on DVD-A version only
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
|RPI||$32.95||Music||Stone Temple Pilots|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (320Kb/s)
English MLP 96/24 5.1
English MLP 96/24 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
"I am, smellin' like the rose, that somebody gave me on my birthday deathbed.
I am smellin' like a rose that somebody gave me 'cause I'm dead and bloated"
Poetry in motion - so opens Dead and Bloated, the first track on Stone Temple Pilots' debut album Core, released on September 29th 1992, on its way to becoming a triple platinum seller. Formed back in 1988, apparently by the chance meeting of vocalist Scott Weiland and bass player Robert DeLeo who, by the nature of these things, discovered they were dating the same girl. Sorting out this minor logistic difficulty by both moving into her Texas apartment, the two formed a musical union of post-punk and rock influences, following the trail of grunge blazed by the likes of Nirvana and contemporary artists Pearl Jam, Violent Femmes and Nine Inch Nails. The group was joined by high-impact drummer Eric Kretz and Robert's brother Dean DeLeo on guitars. Basing themselves in San Diego so as to be removed from the glitz and influence of Hollywood, the band worked steadily to build themselves a following and in 1994 were voted as Best Band of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine. 1994 also saw the band contribute the song Big Empty to the soundtrack of the black, supernatural action film The Crow.
So, for the uninitiated, what's the music all about? My 1992 Collins dictionary ain't a lot of help (surprise surprise!) Best we can find is Grunge - Noun derivative of adjective grungy - seedy, squalid, grotty - mmm, maybe that's along the right track after all, can't help notice grunge is similar to grudge. Well the music's heavy, with a grinding relentless rhythm of overdriven guitar(s), the vocals are often discordant, there's no flashy effects except for the occasional calloused fingers dragged screechingly down a tortured guitar string. Melody is basic, harmony is frowned on and at times it's hard to pick if the separate musicians are in fact playing the same piece, or even on the same planet! The lyrics open a window onto the dark tortured world of despair, frustration and rejection of a society that's passed a generation by where only the extreme emotions conjured by death, sex and pain can elicit any awareness. Well folks - it's all been done and said before many times. In Roman times the satires of Juvenal, in Victorian times the works of Dickens, in my own time the Stones' "Satisfaction", The Who's "My Generation" and Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" and more latterly the Sex Pistols, the grunge movement and even rap culture, have all had their say in expressing the sentiments of human nature evoked by the Dark Side of The Force. My personal pick would probably go to Ian Dury's "Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n Roll" or the Chili Peppers' album Blood Sugar Sex Magik.
You've probably guessed by now, that yep, I'm probably a member of the "... dead and bloated nation of sleepwalkers, so content to drown in your own rancid apathy .."- well too bad, not my fault I was born 15 years too late to join in the STP generation. (Incidentally those who are familiar with Pete Townsend's reminiscences of the 60s will recall that STP was a certain mind-altering substance somewhat more potent than the chemically-related LSD).
It is a curious choice to put Core onto DVD-Audio - the wall of distorted sound is hardly the ideal content to display the finer qualities of resolution, clarity and dynamic range that DVD-A is fast becoming famous for. Well I guess the guys (and girls) on the street in the early 90s have now grown up to be successful and bought their home theatres and DVD-A players (or succumbed to The Dark Side ...). Yet, not all is doom and despair on the album. There are flashes of hope and enlightenment with tight, melodious, breaks on Sin, ornate rolling percussion on Naked Sunday or the rich instrumental track of No Memory. A change of pace is provided by the slower ballad of Creep, whilst Plush, probably the best known track off the album, displays a technically challenging, intricate and intriguing change of rhythm and tempo to accompany the authoritative impassioned vocals of Weiland.
|1. Dead & Bloated|
2. Sex Type Thing
3. Wicked Garden
4. No Memory
6. Naked Sunday
8. Piece Of Pie
10. Wet My Bed
12. Where The River Goes
This is an excellent audio transfer.
There are two DVD-Audio tracks, stereo and 5.1 surround both recorded in 96/24 resolution MLP. The DVD-V version was Dolby Digital 5.1 surround-encoded at the lower rate of 320 bps. It is not possible to switch 'on-the-fly' between any of these tracks. I listened to the whole album in 5.1 Advanced Resolution and then went through track by track listening to each version.
To my surprise, the increased resolution of DVD-A not only improved the quieter acoustic sections mentioned above, but also filled in some detail not apparent in some of the louder tracks such as some guitar melody in Plush. No Memory provided the greatest illustration of the sonic superiority of DVD-A with crisper, cleaner bass and fret-pulls. The stereo DVD-A was also very good and I thought the bass on this was smoother and more detailed than on the surround version. DVD-V players are also catered for well - the mix is basically the same as the DVD-A but a little coarser and in some ways, the increased bite of this lower resolution format gave an edge to the overdriven guitar of Dean DeLeo.
The dialogue was reasonably clear but one feature of the surround mix was to diffuse the vocals throughout the soundstage and occasionally to the surrounds making the vocals somewhat drowned out by the the rhythm tracks.
The surround channels were used in an interesting manner to diffuse the sound. As a result, the soundstage was confused and it was difficult to effectively localise the origin of a particular sound. I'm quite sure that this effect was intentional and in keeping with the genre of the music. There was some nice circle-type effects on the percussion intro of Naked Sunday.
The subwoofer nicely complemented the not insubstantial porting of bass to the front mains - this is not an ideal disc for your sub-sat system I'm afraid, unless you go digital for your player-processor interface and lose some of the detail of DVD-A.
|Surround Channel Use|
Probably the most commercial track features in this 4:22 promo video shot in 1993. The video is in low resolution 1.33:1 and displays just about every video and MPEG artefact imaginable. No, it's not 16 x 9 enhanced - just an astigmatic camera lens! The sound quality is good and presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sampled at 448 kbps.
10 page, good-quality booklet of photos, credits, track lists and song lyrics.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
As is normal with DVD-Audio, so far(!), this multi-region disc is identical in all versions.
One of the reference albums of the 90s given the DVD-Audio makeover on a nicely produced disc.
The video quality is a bit above average for the format as it features song lyrics.
The audio quality is excellent.
The extras are worthwhile and of interest - it is certainly a bonus to have a music video included on these audio biased presentations.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-900E, using RGB output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T50W1 (127cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Naim AV2. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Theta Digital Intrepid|
|Speakers||ML Aeon front. B&W LRC6 Centre. ML Script rear. REL Strata III SW.|