STABBING WESTWARD — Stabbing Westward (review)

STABBING WESTWARD — Stabbing Westward album cover Album · 2001 · Non-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
1.5/5 ·
Warthur
Here is a tragic example of a band frittering away everything when they should have been at the height of their game. In interviews leading up to the release of this one, the band would note how they'd added all these industrial effects and screams and so forth, but said that they felt that this simply made their songs ugly and obscured their inner beauty. This new release would be the real Stabbing Westward - the band simply writing what they felt like, irrespective of fan expectations.

There were two absolutely enormous problems with this approach. Firstly, however you parse that statement from them it seemed to confirm everything anyone had ever said about Stabbing Westward being shallow or insincere. Either they were telling the truth in the interview and they'd never really "felt" their distinctive industrial rock sound, in which case they'd been bullshitters all along, or they weren't being honest in the interview and they were simply changing their sound in response to the commercial tide shifting away from industrial rock, in which case they had become bullshitters now.

The other big problem is that their brand new sound - you know, the one which was supposed to be Stabbing Westward simply playing what was in their hearts without any consideration of fan expectations or commercial demands? Well, as it turned out, it sounded suspiciously like radio-friendly, commercial alternative rock of the most bland and inoffensive sorts.

The lesson embodied in this album is simple. If you are going to throw away your signature sound, make sure you're replacing it with a sound that's exciting enough to be worth the risk.
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