Stabbing Westward found success as one of the foremost American industrial acts of the 1990s, with two gold-certified albums and several soundtrack appearances, notably for films such as Bride of Chucky and Not Another Teen Movie. After a lackluster fourth studio album, 2001’s self-titled disc, the band dissolved and its members went their separate ways. It wasn’t until 2016 that the band came back together, celebrating their 30th anniversary at that year’s Cold Waves Festival in Chicago. A new song made its way to 2017’s compilation album for Cold Waves, and at the beginning of this year, the band self-released a new EP, Dead and Gone, featuring three new tracks and two remixes.
The title track wasted no time with the electronic rhythms, but by the chorus, the guitars bash the door down and bring forth a rocking, full speed ahead feel to the track. It’s a great comeback track, with the double-time chorus and Christopher Hall’s lyrical tenor voice. The Stoneburner remix of “Dead and Gone” is far more electronic-oriented, largely doing away with the guitars, while still managing a feeling similar to the original mix. In either case, the track is a proper return to form for the band, sounding as if they haven’t missed a step since their last proper release nearly two decades ago.
“Cold” starts in with a four on the floor beat and a dancing bass line. The chorus vaguely reminds me of Orgy’s version of “Blue Monday,” and by no means is that a slight on this track. The main riff is imitated in Hall’s vocals, which allow this track to soar in its hard-rocking execution. The 12” StabWalts remix of the song is energetic like its original mix, but with far more electronics and a pulsing kick. The vocals are a bit more forward in the mix compared to the original as well, an interesting production choice for sure.
The third and final original song on this collection is “Crawl,” which takes a more alt-rock approach than the previous two numbers. The guitars drive this one ahead, switching out electronics for an eerie music box sample in between verses. If this song played on the radio, one could be forgiven for not clocking it as Stabbing Westward, and not just because they haven’t had new music in so long, but it does have that 2000s alt-rock formula going for it. Again, that’s not a black mark on the song, but an interesting feature for a comeback EP.
Now that Stabbing Westward are set to tour, making one more trip to Cold Waves this fall, these newest tracks from these hidden industrial gems are sure to build up the necessary hype for the eventual comeback album. And when it comes, the community will be ready for it, if the reception this EP has received is any indication.