mon 17/06/2024

CD: The Cult - Choice of Weapon | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Cult - Choice of Weapon

CD: The Cult - Choice of Weapon

The Wolf Child is back and revelling in the glory years

The Cult: their Indian hearts are pounding

The end had long been nigh for The Cult, when it first came in 1995. It wasn’t just the booze and the arrival of grunge. It was as much that smart-arse Brit Pop was never going to have much truck with a man who called himself Wolf Child and wrote lyrics like, “Cool operator with a rattlesnake kiss”. More fool them. But yet, for all the brilliance of Love, Electric and Sonic Temple there was no denying things went seriously downhill after the fourth album.

Still, fans have long believed in one last Memphis hip shake from the old peace dogs. And finally, on their second comeback, we now have Choice of Weapon.

So where does it fit in the Cult canon? Does it rock or have flowers in its hair? Or is it just a misty-eyed glance back at the glory years? Actually it’s a bit of all. Astbury’s eccentricities are as proud and Duffy’s fingers as nimble as ever. Musically, it largely follows on from Sonic Temple. The songs are kitted out in leather trousers and cowboy boots, yet somehow echo the spirit of The Doors without being po-faced (Astbury also reprised the role of Morrison in 2002 for a partially reformed version of that band).

And as in the heyday there is also a magpie-like approach to riff building. Now, however, the influences aren’t always as impeccable as before. The riff on “The Wolf”, for instance, is virtually indistinguishable from Foo Fighters’ “Times Like These”. But, in the main, Astbury and Duffy have done an admirable job of referencing their back catalogue playfully – the first words on the album are, “My wild Indian heart was pounding” - without descending into parody. Particularly successful are the Goth power ballad “Life > Death” and one-two punch rocker “A Pale Horse”. And even when Astbury recites, “All my friends are gone/ Their innocence a flame/ Will I ever see them again”, as if he thinks he’s Jack Kerouac, on “This Night in the City Forever” you can’t help but raise a smile.

Watch The Cult's new video for "For the Animals"

The songs are kitted out in leather trousers and cowboy boots, yet somehow echo the spirit of The Doors without being po-faced


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Pretty solid album. Probably the best of everything since Ceremony. As a long-time fan, I know the songs sound better live. I'll be seeing them again soon.

It is a fantastic album. They've raised their game to an unexpected level. Fantastic job guys

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