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Cult – Born Into This

During a recent workout, I threw on this album and I learned something that should have been apparent to me all along – the hypnotically driving beats and big riff mayhem of this excellent rock band make for perfect exercise accompaniment.

Knowing none of the songs (from 2007) before hearing this, I felt like I was breaking new ground as my rickety frame attempted to support the minimal weights I was manouvering and dubiously calling it exercise.

You’ll know this album already for yourselves, but on this play-through I thought this was a strong batch of songs. It rocks like hell, really, and sounds like the Cult I knew way back when. Tracks like Dirty Little Rockstar and I Assassin (among several others) pleased me greatly. One track, Holy Mountain, is a departure – a slower, simpler, more melodic showcase for Astbury’s vocals. Wild.

This one I have here is the 2CD Savage Edition, the second disc of which has a few bonus tracks that I also liked… though I’ll admit that by then I was resting my weary carcass after punishing it enough during the workout, so I heard the bonus disc as I yelled for a medic. I liked Stand Alone here, and the demo versions of the album tracks were a nice addition.

This album did the job well, I liked it!

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The Cult – Hidden City

Alright, Constant Readers, we’re back to my IOU Series. Both Deke and Mike requested I cover this one (at least, that’s what my note about it says). It was also, apparently, requested that this be a 200 word post, so that’s what I did…

For real reviews with actual perspective on this one, check out the excellent reviews by:

DEKE and MIKE!

***

This doesn’t sound like a band formed in 1983… there’s a youthful energy, here.  Then again, it definitely sounds like a band around for 30+ years, as it’s savvy, well-oiled, and rocks with an ease and polish that younger bands can only dream of for their future selves… Huge songs, well-written and gripping, the work here is heavy on the guitars and on the groove. Two things we all love about Cult songs, surely. Damn, these guys are masters.

Bob Rock’s production breathes easily, and really makes the speakers push the air. This lets the songs stand strong, and they sure as hell do. My fave track, at the moment, is G O A T, which is a bluesy bar room brawl that keeps demanding I play it again and again. Goddamn, that’s a monster. Singles on the album, all excellent tracks, include Dark Energy, Hinterland, and No Love Lost.

Now, I’m no expert on the Cult. I live mostly by Pure Cult (and my shock that Soldier Blue wasn’t included on it), but this album kicks all sorts of ass. It rocks, pure (Cult) and simple.

Bloody brilliant and great.

Cult – Love

Mike sent me this treasure. This totally takes me back in time.

Man, the Cult have a sound. If I were to play you a song of theirs you’d never heard, you’d still be able to say that’s who it is. It isn’t just Ian Astbury’s voice. The songs, too, there’s an instantly recognizeable thing they do. And it’s not just the hits, either, it’s pretty well every song. Eventually you go ‘oh hey, it’s them!’

And you know what? It’s a good thing, a good sound. It’s lithe and muscular and well-produced and it definitely rocks. Knowing this, going into revisiting this album, I am free to listen for the little things in each song.

Nirvana’s guitar line stands out most, to me, and I liked the solo bit. Great tune. Big Neon Glitter  swings while it rocks. I like the tom work on the drums. This would be cool live, the whole crowd jumping in time…

Love is slinky and full of menace in the bottom end*. I like the way it fees like it could explode at any moment, just full of tension, yet it doesn’t explode. It doesn’t have to. Brother Wolf Sister Moon feels like a cowboy song, if that makes sense. It’s not country, but as it builds, it feels like the perfect soundtrack music for some south-western USA landscape movie. Love it.

Rain is a hit we all know, of course. Fantastic. Phoenix feels like their ode to the Stooges, that riff. Yummy! Hollow Man is a straight-up pop-rocker as only these guys can do it.

If you don’t know (the beautiful) Revolution and (the firecracker) She Sells Sanctuary (as well as Rain, for that matter), you’ve been living under a rock since 1983. Funny thing, 1537 said he thought She Sells Sanctuary was the inspiration for the naming of this website, as those very words are uttered in that song several times. That was a fantastic guess, though incorrect (we all know it was Black Flack’s fault). Still, nice one!

And the last track, Black Angel, goes perfectly with Brother Wolf Sister Moon, they feel like companion pieces to me. A great slow burner to end one helluva record.

In sum: Fan-fucking-tastic. 1985? This stuff is timeless.

Thanks heaps, Mike!

* I meant the song called Love, here, but if love isn’t slinky and full of menace in the bottom end, you’re totally doing it wrong.

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