The Stabs - Dead Wood

The Stabs – Dead Wood

Release date: 17th May, 2013
Limited edition of 400 copies

Vinyl LP + download code


After forming ten years ago, The Stabs, didn’t so much burst onto any scene, they burst dramatically all over several. Despite the band’s best intentions, they quickly developed a notoriety for violence, both musical and literal. Driven by a perfectionism that they felt was lost on their audience, shows often exploded into a masochistic orgy of self-destruction. The band’s frustration at their own perceived shortcomings causing damage to equipment and eardrums, whilst audience members cheered in the false assumption that The Stabs were intentionally about the spectacle of discordance, implosion, self-loathing, ataxia, drug abuse, and danger music.

Heroically, the members of the band staid the course, desperate to prove that their musical vision was sound (double entendre intended). Within a few years, the band managed to turn their reputation from disastrous train wreck to world-class exponents of a uniquely Australian form of rock music, that curious entanglement of punk, blues, noise, and swamp pioneered by bands such as The Scientists, Birthday Party, and Lubricated Goat.

Having made their point on stages across Australia, The Stabs took to the world stage from 2006, playing throughout the United States alongside Mudhoney, Lubricated Goat and numerous other acts, even once appearing in Taiwan on a festival stage headlined by Placebo and Tricky. They were Mick Harvey’s pick for the inaugural ATP at Mt Buller. Unbeaten and undiminished, The Stabs impressed all-comers with their tight devotion to ear-splitting intensity…

And songs.

Unlike many groups which have preceded and followed, this band have always been a songs-based act. Underneath quivering slabs of feedback, the gut-wrenching rumble of bass, and punishing percussion, an almost incongruous pop sensibility still manages to emerge.

With the release on vinyl of The Stabs first two full-length albums, this is what listeners can expect. Equal parts sonic bliss and aural castigation. Putting their days of wanton chaos and self-sabotage far behind them, and with the assistance of Homeless Records, 2006’s Dirt and 2009’s Dead Wood are available for the first time on The Stabs preferred format, black vinyl. With this double release, The Stabs are proud to announce that they are not dead (once again, double entendre intended). The Stabs have done their penance, now it’s up to you – punish yourself!

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Reviews of Dead Wood

“Not just a retread of the classic approach of Dirt, yet still maintaining the ugly feel, Dead Wood cuts a little sharper, feels a little more violent. A bit more from the Mick Turner lineage than the Salmon vein perhaps, and the band pics on the insert aren’t the only things reminiscent of feedtime here. All three take turns on vocals adding welcome variance. ‘No Hoper’ is rock-thuggery of Venom P. Stinger proportions, the title track sounds as much like Fungus Brains as anyone could hope to. The band mentions that the A-Side is the “rocking” side, which is true in all ways, making the B the experimental side. ‘Funeral Waltz’ adds piano sounding more murderous than maudlin, leaning towards Bad Seeds dramatics even. ‘The Hated One’ contains their most hellish vocals (from Gleeson). ‘Family Trust’ and ‘Blues in F#’ (which has something Unsane-like to its wall-of-noise guitar and gang vocal violence) show signs of deconstruction and noise-rock, ‘Cabin Fever’ adds broken glass as instrumentation and approaches the modern thuganomics of a Cuntz.”
Terminal Boredom

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