Review: Stabbing Westward

Stabbing Westward
“Self Titled”
(Koch Records)

Stabbing Westward seems to be stabbing in a slightly different direction these days. Their new release “Stabbing Westward” slightly turns away from the old semi industrial N.I.N.ish sound, to embrace more of a guitar/drum rock oriented sound, with some acoustic touches thrown in here and there.  Starting off the cd you’d never notice a change in sound, the track So Far Away (their current radio hit) is very reminiscent of the old Stabbing sound. Powerful, slightly haunting, with strong keyboards filling in any sign of emptiness. Songs Wasted and Television also hold a bit closer to the older Stabbing sound.  Reaching the 2nd track, Perfect, you can begin to hear the change in direction, with acoustic guitar and a more popish, yet still moody sound. (for some odd reason this song reminds me of some old 70’s America song, don’t ask me why)  By track 3 Remember you can hear a big change, its still definitely Stabbing, but its just… well different, mellower for sure.  Even more directions in sound ranging from an almost bluesy/smoky kind of lounge act type of sound on Happy to a straight forward rock and roll sound on High. To a full force, popish psychedelic sounding love song, Breath You In (you dogs out there could probably score points with your girl with these lyrics if you are smart)  Overall Stabbing Westward is an enjoyable listen, not quite as heavy, but a show of talent through a broader musical horizon isn’t a bad thing. No matter what the sound though, you always know it is Stabbing Westward by the always-distinguishable vocals of Christopher Hall, and his lyrical styling. Which still are moody, depressing, emotional and longing for a lost love. Great for when you’re having one of those “I can’t believe you dumped me, I hope you’re happy now, why can’t things be like they used to, you fucking worthless piece of shit, I hate you, you were my life, I’’ll never quit loving you” feeling sorry for yourself kind of days.