THE CULT - Choice of Weapon

May 22, 2012, 6 years ago

Cooking Vinyl

Kelley Simms

Rating: 8.5

review the cult

THE CULT - Choice of Weapon

Emerging from the ‘70s UK post-punk explosion in 1983, THE CULT has evolved into one of the most intriguing and influential rock groups that has ever graced the stage. With their 10th release, Choice of Weapon (the first full-length in five years), The Cult still possess unique trademark elements which gives the band its quintessential sound. The magnetic vocals of Ian Astbury and the distinctive, twangy guitar of Billy Duffy makes it clear that you’re unmistakably listening to The Cult. This is a guitar-orientated rock record — vibrant and raw. There seems to be a new vitality within the band, perhaps because of the returning rhythm section of bassist Chris Wyse and drummer John Tempesta (WHITE ZOMBIE, EXODUS, TESTAMENT), who also participated on The Cult’s last album, 2007’s Born Into This.

Co-produced by Chris Goss (QUEENS OF THE STONEAGE, MASTERS OF REALITY, KYUSS) and a returning Bob Rock (METALLICA, AEROSMITH) Choice of Weapon has a full-bodied flavor. It was written sporadically over two years and recorded at several studios. The 10 tracks deal with life’s observations and experiences — some good, and some not-so-good, from Astbury’s point of view. The Cult’s broad musical formula has always gelled with vast audiences — hard rock, alt rock, pop, gothic and punk rock are part of the band’s DNA.

The charging riff and accompanying rhythm section of CD opener 'Honey From A Knife' gets things off to a good start with a catchy chorus, infectious guitar work and melodious vocal harmonies. It has an urban, Manhattany vibe to it. There’s a haunting, DOORSy/VELVET UNDERGROUNDy feel to 'A Pale Horse' and 'This Night in the City Forever'. 'Wilderness Now' has a familiar melancholic melody similar to 'Edie (Ciao Baby)' or 'Rain'. 'The Wolf' has that classic CULT electric sound, decorated with Duffy’s distinctive guitar twang.

There was a time after 1989’s iconic Sonic Temple where the band’s visibility waned, mostly because of the outbreak of grunge and MTV’s decline in showing relevant rock videos. During The Cult’s hiatus, Astbury joined THE DOORS and Duffy did CIRCUS DIABLO and CARDBOARD VAMPYRES. But 2012 sees the future looking bright for The Cult. Their quest for worldwide dominance is again inevitable.


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