Industrial music travels Westward for the whining sounds of relationships

by Stephen Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

Stabbing Westward cuts out a place for itself in mainstream industrial music with its newest release, Wither Blister Burn + Peel.

The first song on the album, "I Don't Believe," almost seems to be a leftover from the band's older album, which was too harsh to gain the respect of a large audience. Other songs, such as "What Do I Have to Do?" and "Shame," are signs that the band is more mature.

Many industrial bands program a synthesizer and drum machine to pound out simple and repetitive beats. The good news is that the instrumentals often have many layers, utilizing various instruments and sounds.

The bad news is that for the length of the entire album, Stabbing Westward whines about relationships. Lead singer Chris Hall occasionally begs for a woman's forgiveness, but more often, he is longing for a better relationship or regretting leaving one that he used to be in.

A few songs about relationships are fine, but this album unnecessarily subjects the listener to a constant barrage of self-pity and self-absorption.

Overall, the band's musical ability makes up for the lack of lyrical content. Those who like "What Do I Have to Do?" will not find an album full of clones. Songs like "Falls Apart" and "So Wrong" are assaults rather than stories and will please those who enjoy a heavier and harsher industrial scene.

The album's diversity is another sign that the band is maturing, and its current tour will hopefully inspire Stabbing Westward to a greater lyrical plateau.

Seeing Stabbing Westward live will mean less lyrical content and more energy and basic beats, making it a band not to miss for industrial fans. It will be an experience well worth the $10.50 cost of admission.

Stabbing Westward plays tonight at Numbers. Heavy metal band Into Another opens. Advance tickets are available at Record Rack or through Ticketmaster.

Visit The Daily Cougar