Westward – Stabbing Westward
Hard rockin' Goth's Stabbing Westward return with their self-titled album on Koch Records. All we have come to know and love about this group is here. They provide enough power to get their point across without diluting the overall melody, it's a perfect balancing act between the two. In fact, the move to Koch seems to be just what the doctor ordered.
On this CD they have really honed their writing skills, providing 10 unique songs that can stand on their own. The songs differ enough from each other without sounding redundant, but still manage to keep that classic Stabbing Westward feel. If you liked their previous work, this one is a bit different but still right up there with the best of them! If you are a fan of alt-rock with a heavy Goth/Industrial edge this album will provide a great introduction to Stabbing Westward.
Excerpt from Live! Review of the Beyond Good and Evil Tour with The Cult
By the time Bird3 left the stage it was approaching dusk, the California sky had turned an array of pinks and oranges providing a perfect backdrop to an outdoor concert. Stabbing Westward took the stage with an electrifying rendition of "Save Yourself". Having never seen this band live before I didn't know what to expect; they easy proved to be masters of the stage. Lead vocalist Christopher Hall seemed like a reincarnation of Jim Morrison as he pranced about the stage, encouraging the crowd to revel in the music. Derrek Hawkins provided the six-string magic to the songs while bassist Jim Sellers joined with drummer Andrew Kubiszewski in crafting the moving rhythms Stabbing Westward is known for. When playing live Stabbing Westward go far beyond simply delivering the studio tracks, the songs are played with a much deeper intensity and harder rock edge than we have come to expect from their CD's. A perfect example is keyboardist/guitarist Walter Flakus who provides much of the underpinning to the band's studio sound with his programming and keyboards. I was surprised to see Walter spend most of the show wailing at a guitar and entirely ignoring the keyboards. During the songs when we would normally expect Walter's keyboards or sampling we were treated to some intense guitar playing. Where you might think that this would take away from the songs, it actually took them to a whole new level and that is exactly the reason people shell out their hard earned dollars to see a band play live, otherwise they would be no better off then simply sitting at home and listening to the CD's.
After treating the crowd to "Save Yourself" from their 1998 release "Darkest Days", the band launched into "High"; the first song of the night from their new self-titled CD. The new CD not only solidifies Stabbing Westward's rock n roll credentials, it also proved the idiots (a.k.a. rock critics) wrong in the notion of writing these guys off as a Nine Inch Nails knock off. While there are some similarities to the NIN sound, overall Stabbing Westward's songs go way beyond the styling of Trent Reznor. You just have to take the time give them an honest listen.
There was no mistaking who was ruling the stage that night as Christopher Hall led his music brigade through a few more new tracks like "The Only Thing" and "Happy". Christopher showed us his humorous side by strapping on an acoustic guitar and breaking into a few bars of John Denver's "Country Roads". He also took time to joke with a concert goer who kept yelling, while holding up a t-shirt with a pot leaf on it; "Smoke it if you got it." Christopher joked, "Get high now, go get some pizza and be back in time for the Cult". It wasn't all fun and games, Stabbing Westward was there to rock and they proved that by captivating the crowd with their new single "So Far Away".
Old time fans got a special treat as the
band closed their set with an ultra heavy rendition of "Shame" from their
1996 album, "Wither Blister Burn & Peel". By the time they left the
stage the sun had fully set and they had set the stage for an intense night
of music. My only complaint, the set was too short, I know I wouldn't have
been heart broken if Stabbing Westward swapped spots with Monster Magnet
in order to play more songs
antiGUY is the editor in
doubt of antiMUSIC.