It was their 2001 self-titled album that made me a fan and I went backwards. “Darkest Days” was consumed next and then “Whither Blister Burn & Peel”.
Before writing started for this album, main songwriter and guitarist Stuart Zechman departed the band after the “Ungod” tour due to “personal differences”.
So the band for this album is Christopher Hall on lead vocals, guitar and drum machine programming. Jim Sellers is on bass and guitar. Walter Flakus is on keyboards and programming. Andy Kubiszewski is on drums, guitar and keyboards.
Kubiszewski was actually new as well, and when it came to song writing for this album, he played the band dozens of demos he did. Songs like “What Do I Have to Do?”, “Haunting Me,” “Sometimes It Hurts,” “Crushing Me,” “Slipping Away,” “Desperate Now,” and “Goodbye.” These song would appear on this album and the “Darkest Days” albums.
The band thought about finding another guitarist however they went into the studio without any guitar player and decided to play the guitar parts themselves with Sellers and Kubiszewski taking on most of the guitar duties.
I Don’t Believe
Any song that starts off with the words “I’m such an asshole” and “I just keep fucking up” means business. While rooted in the Industrial sounds of NIN, it has a certain arena rock vibe when the Chorus kicks in which the hook “I don’t believe I could be so stupid and naïve”.
The big song from the album. The intro riff is infectious, instantly making me pick up the guitar to learn it.
What Do I Have to Do?
The electronic keys riff with the sound effects is unusual and I like it. My favourite song, which shows a real rock vocal.
Press play to hear how the second verse riff crashes in. Brilliant.
And the hook, is so desperate with the words, “what do I have to do if you don’t want me”
The main music is sound effects, electronics and the keys providing a riff. It all feels so desolate and haunting. But I like it.
Why can’t you see that everything is broken?
These kind of artists got blasted by rock audiences at the grim nature of their lyrics, but as a fan of metal bands and thrash metal in particular, these kind of lyrics are nothing new. All of our heroes have fears and doubts.
It’s like soundtrack music with a vocal melody over it.
The album does fall apart with this song. It has a Ministry like riff which starts off the song full of energy, however the verses really let it down.
This could be on a metal album or a rock album and it wouldn’t be out of place because of the main riff.
Actually Fates Warning have a similar song on their “Disconnect” album from 2000.
It’s like a long lost song from Kurt Cobain. Press play and check out the intro riff. But there are a lot of sections with sound effects, electronics and keys which just take away the good from the intro riff.
There is a cool riff in this song, but you would need to listen through a lot of soundscapes and electronics. But when it comes it around the 2.10 mark, it’s worth the wait.
This one just slipped away from me as the title states, with too much electronica.
The album was a success and supported by the singles “Shame” and “What Do I Have to Do?” they got themselves a Gold certification in the U.S and some heavy MTV rotation. The band also recruited Mark Eliopulos to handle the live element of the main guitar parts.
This is how it was for me between 1995 to about 2005. I would buy an album from a hard rock band I knew and I would be buying albums from so many different artists that looked like they had distorted guitars and played something that could be influenced by metal and rock bands.
I was just looking for something to get into it.
2 thoughts on “1996 – Part 5.5: Stabbing Westward – Wither Blister Burn & Peel”
Heard the name but never heard any music. Once again I will head to Apple or Youtube and see whats going on here!
Ok yeah, I thought I hadn’t heard this but it didn’t seem right. I did used to have this back in the 90’s, I’m sure I picked it up after Darkest Days and Save Yourself hit. It’s very fitting for that time and I need to go back and play this in its entirety again. It all came back after hearing What Do I Have To Do again.