First it was Nirvana's Nevermind, then came Pearl Jam's Ten, and then came a band called Stone Temple Pilots with an album called Core: one after the other, the greatest and most popular grunge albums were produced, more or less during the same time, i.e. 1991-92. In this day and age, where every grunge band sounds like every other one, and a lot of the really good ones have quit music for good, the golden period of grunge, the early nineties, the age where this kind of music was still in its nascent stage, saw the best and the most original grunge albums ever. Core, for certain, is one of them.
Core is an epitome of a perfectly made grunge album. It is what a complete grunge album should be, which is so hard to come by these days, even by Stone Temple Pilots, itself. Core is angry, it is aggressive, it is antagonistic; it is anything but amicable. It is mean, and it means it. "Plush," the first single of the album, has all the muscle, to tell the world that STP is here to stay. Undoubtedly one of the best rock songs ever, "Plush" is the perfect advert for an album, it so honestly represents. "Dead And Bloated," the opening track of the album, in its sluggish and droopy fashion, is a head-banging treat for the ones who want to take it easy and slow with their head-banging.
"Sex Type Thing" and "Wicked Garden" are the album's best. "Sex Type Thing" is bold and boisterous. Shamelessly, it oozes with testosterone, showing off machismo big-time. After chorus number one, "Wicked Garden" changes tune, with Weiland going all berserk and cacophonic with 'burn, burn, burn…': it's precisely at this 100th second of this song that one really gapes in awe of this masterpiece. As if seeking a reprieve from all the madness, "Wicked Garden" is succeeded by one of the coolest guitar pieces one could ever find: "No Memory" -- thanks to Dean DeLeo. "Sin" is a six-odd minute of raw power and nothing else: beautifully, it drapes itself with sweet melody, going acoustic from head to toe, somewhere in the midst of all the thrashing, giving way to an awesome solo, something which is rare in STP songs.
Track number ten, is an anomaly, by any standards. Titled "Wet My Bed," it is more idiosyncratic and insane than funny. As a matter of fact, it is not funny at all! What it's supposed to be, only the band knows, or do they? It doesn't seem so. It has Weiland blabbering something about some girl, trying to be as drunk as he could be, in the midst of the most ill-fitting music, if whatever that is in the background can be called music at all. But, come to think of it, this 1:35 min. of pure stupidity has significance, and a major one. Immediately after "Wet My Bed," is the fantabulous "Crackerman," and the album reaches its summit, and when least expected! "Crackerman" starts as if it is a part of "Wet My Bed." Furthermore, the clever arrangement of "Wet My Bed" and "Crackerman," and the presence of "Wet My Bed" itself, makes the experience of savoring "Crackerman" even more spicy: Hail! Hail! "Wet My Bed," Hail! Hail! "Crackerman"!
Core is a classic grunge album, a perfect debut for a promising band and reminisces the days when grunge was young, original and honest.