It takes a lot of courage (or something) to continue after being dropped by a major record label. Usually, it's the end of the line. Discarded by Columbia Records in '00, Industrial Rockers, Stabbing Westward landed with the far smaller Koch Records and released a self-titled CD the following year.
Chicago residents, vocalist Christopher Hall and keyboardist Walter Flakus, joined forces in '85. Following a debut EP in '90, Hall took off on another project but realized what he'd left behind and returned. Shortly thereafter, guitarist Stuart Zechman, bassist Jim Sellers and drummer David Suycott joined. Three years later the group issued "Ungod."
The CD was not a big seller but the group toured relentlessly and even gave countless interviews (with just about anybody who'd listen) to promote the CD. The post "Ungod" period also saw Zechman and Suycott depart with Andy Kubiszewski taking over on drums.
All the worked paid off with the follow-up "Wither, Blister, Burn + Peel." The CD became the group's biggest seller, going gold. The success got Stabbing Westward opening act gigs for a reunited Sex Pistols. "Darkest Days" was released in '98, and while nearly as good as "Wither," it failed to sell so Columbia Records pushed the panic button and dumped the group.
Guitarist Derrek Hawkins was enlisted for the "Stabbing Westward" CD in '01 and the subsequent tour.
1996 Wither Blister Burn + Peel
1998 Darkest Days
2001 Stabbing Westward
"Wither, Blister, Burn + Peel" is THE Stabbing Westward CD with "Shame" and the MTV Buzz Clip fav "What Do I Have To Do." It's their industrial Rock/wall of sound/mournful vocals peak.
"Darkest Days" is next. Both "Darkest Days" and "Ungod" are good but not great albums. "Stabbing Westward" has the semi-ballad "So Far Away." While it's encouraging to see a group continue after losing a major label deal, this CD falls a bit short.
"Stabbing Westward" is not as texturally dense as other group efforts, and while it is more melodic, it's far less powerful. Overall, the result is as good as "Darkest Days" but it won't make anyone forget "Wither."