The year was 1993 and Scott Weiland was on top of the world with his new stellar band Stone Temple Pilots. Back then, Weiland could have stomped on Jesus until his skull exploded and wed still have flung ourselves at him like airhead groupies. But now, almost 15 years later, the frontman is back with his first solo effort in 10 years, Happy in Galoshes; an album thats not even worth listening to. Seriously, its that bad.
To be brutally honest though, fans of Weiland should have seen this coming. Weve all known that ever since the California native kicked the heroin back in the late ’90s, hes been on a steady decline in both creativity and musical genius. Just look at his weak, last ditch effort with S.T.P. (Shangri-La Dee Da) and then at his even more redundant work with Velvet Revolver for Christs sake! Sometimes people should just stick to their drugs or stop making music all together, you know?
Sadly for us, Weiland didnt stop, and the 56 minutes of hell comprising Happy in Galoshes is saturated with unimpressive, washed out vocals thatll end up depressing Weiland fans just as much as Heathen did for David Bowie fanatics. Thats right, I said it. Even aside from the vocals, the musicianship of the album is still just as horrid; filled with overused Indie-rock aesthetics and repetition of already luke-warm material that ends up forming something so awful, it could be found in one of the pages of an H.P. Lovecraft book!
So, Happy in Galoshes starts off with the single Missing Cleveland, which has somehow found its way to #33 on some Modern Rock charts, most likely because of its catchy chorus. Next up is Tangle With Your Mind, featuring Weiland in a manner that almost impersonates radio-friendly pop rock musicians like John Mayer or Jack Johnson (come on now Weiland, youre better than that). And then we’ve got Blind Confusion, a mixture of all the negative aspects from The Hives and The Psychedelic Furs combined, making our ear drums ache. It’s harsh, I know, but things get even worse with the futuristic cover of David Bowies and John Lennons Fame and the dreary ballad Be Not Afraid, which comes off as both emotionally limp and fake.
Surprisingly, within this rather lackluster effort that Weiland feeds us, Happy in Galoshes still manages to yield a few tracks worth remembering. First theres Big Black Monster, which has a weird, eerie feel to it and a back beat thats similar to something we could find Fiona Apple playing. Then, Beautiful Day comes along with its dreary and carnival-esque sound thats closest relative can probably be found somewhere on The Beatles Revolver. So yeah, its refreshing to know that this album is at least worth something, right?
Also, what Big Black Monster and Beautiful Day accomplish in just 8:34 is enough to reassure Weiland fans that theres at least a little hope left for this guys career. Both tracks are reminiscent of the Weiland we grew to love all those years ago and run more in step with his work on 12 Bar Blues, so at least download those two tracks off iTunes when you get the chance.
Upon reflection, Happy in Galoshes is essentially just a huge piece of trash. There’s really no other way around it. However, while part of me wants Weiland to man up and end his career now before he makes an even bigger ass of himself, imagining a world without him just seems so boring.