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No Doubt “Stand and Deliver”

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The reunited No Doubt is set to return to TV with an appearance on the show Gossip Girl in May. In the flashback episode (which supposedly introduces a retro-themed spin-off series that will kick off in the fall) the band will perform a cover of Adam and the Ants’ “Stand and Deliver.” Accordingly No Doubt has released the song as their first new single since the band’s 2003 cover of Talk Talk’s “It’s My Life.”

Since the band’s last studio album, 2001’s Rock Steady (the number of times I heard “Hella Good” and “Hey Baby” from the album that year is downright sickening), the attention has primarily been focused on Gwen Stefani and her two multi-platinum solo albums. While rumors of a reunion have been circulating for just about as long as the band has been separated, a spark in getting No Doubt back together might possibly have come from a highly unlikely source: Scott Weiland.

Guitarist Tom Dumont, bassist Tony Kanal and drummer Adrian Young all appeared as studio musicians on Weiland’s second solo album, last year’s “Happy” in Galoshes. Whether or not getting together for those sessions had any impact on the recently announced reunion tour is debatable; whether or not Weiland rubbed off on the band is not, however. The new track, much like most everything Weiland has recorded this decade, is a bit underwhelming.

In all fairness “Stand and Deliver” might not even be a full-fledged single despite it’s release in conjunction with the band’s television spot. Perhaps it’s a little harsh to call the track hollow, but considering the plump sound that Stefani’s been using with her solo work (not to mention the various production roles Dumont and Kanal’s have taken on) it wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that the band’s sound should be a little juicier than it is. As a cover it’s pretty faithful, though it hardly compares to the flair found in the original. Maybe No Doubt should have stuck with their cover of Bad Brains’ “Sailin’ On” for the show… whether or not it fits with the Gossip Girls theme, at least it’d have some sizzle. Looking at things from a positive point of view, it’s the band’s best song they’ve recorded in over half a decade. Then again, it’s the band’s only song they’ve recorded in over half a decade.