The Cult ‘Choice of Weapon’ (Cooking Vinyl)
Out Today (22nd May)
Nearly 30 years into their career The Cult have just today released a new lp. It’s their first proper album for five years so is it any good? Adrian Bloxham passes judgement.
The Cult, what does that name mean to you? Do you remember Southern Death Cult? Do you remember She Sells Sanctuary? Do you remember Rain? Do you remember when they triumphantly threw a peace sign at the Goths and blasted out Electric?
I’m not saying which I recall, you don’t need to know. Although to be honest I’ve not heard any new material from The Cult since Sonic Temple twenty odd years ago. They have, in Choice of Weapon, reasserted themselves as true masters of bombast electric riff charged rock.
I started to listen to this album as a nostalgic whim which has changed into a recognition that at my heart I still love the sound of a good guitar and singer working together, on this evidence Billy Duffy and Ian Astbury must have a telepathic link by now.
The album? Pounding drums, chugging guitar, tambourine shake, pounding bassline and then Ian Astbury’s voice, a rock behemoth right there. They have stories, choruses about drugs and the biggest riffs so far this year. Billy Duffy never wastes a guitar moment, be it a huge riff or a spiralling solo, it’s all here.
It sounds like a filthy denim jacket with the arms cut off, a skull and crossbones embroidered across the back. With a packet of cigarettes in one breast pocket and a bottle of whiskey stuffed in the side. Smelling of petrol and blood and faded by the desert wind howling in from Valhalla.
You will be playing air guitar to this, you will be singing along. You will love it.
Half the album is Electric tinged rock perfection, the other half harks back to the Cult from the days of Love and is considered and understated. They complement each other brilliantly.
The last track (stream above), This Night in the City Forever, takes both, screws them up together and throws in The Doors for an epic album finisher.
This is very big and quite clever. Coupled with a tour alongside Killing Joke and the Mission this Autumn it seems the heroes from when I was young have re-emerged and are ready to hold court again. There is a sense of why should we listen to the old music when there is so much new worth filling your head with. To answer, why shouldn’t we listen to those that soundtracked our youth, this is as good as Electric and because it’s out now, it’s not nostalgia, is a celebration.
More articles by Adrian can be found here.