6 April 2016

The Cult - Hidden City

Not sure why I'm doing this blog, as I'm not that knowledgeable about The Cult. All I know about them are that former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum was a member before he joined that band. Another thing I heard was that Ian Astbury lobbied hard to get the lead in the movie about The Doors - the one that was not very accurate and seemed to be more about Oliver Stone catching up on the counter-culture-era he missed while doing tours of duty in Vietnam than providing any enlightening insight into Jim Morrison and co. Meg Ryan had nice boobs though. So did the lass who played Patricia Kennealy, come to think of it. But back to the music...

Other than 'She Sells Sanctuary' and 'Edie (Ciao Baby)', I cannot for the life of me think of a single other song they've recorded that I may have heard. So I guess this blog will serve me well in expanding my horizons towards The Cult. From what I've read, they started off as a Gothic, almost post-punk band before turning into a hard rock behemoth after becoming successful in America. This was after they hired Bob Rock (the guy who turned Metallica into pussies) to be their producer. He returns on production duties for this album so expect everything to sound crisp, clear, professional and expensive. I never rated Bob Rock at all, except maybe for the job he did on "Dr Feelgood" by Motley Crue. Anyhow, here we go...

1) Dark Energy - Oh aye? Sounds like some kind of biker-bar rock boogie thing. Chorus sounds post-punk but we go back to the bar-room stuff  soon enough. It's not too bad a song to be fair, and I reckon I could get used to this. Vocals are decent enough. It also turns out the drummer for The Cult is John Tempesta who used to be in White Zombie.

2) No Love Lost - Opens up with some thumping toms and jangly guitar. Seems to be quite an alternative flavour with this one, albeit with some classic rock chops thrown in for good measure. Billy Duffy can certainly write some good stuff.

3) Dance The Night is up next and it sounds like it's a continuation of a path already paved by the first two songs. It doesn't quite grab you by the throat like they did but it's not too bad all the same.

4) In Blood - Bit of a dark intro to this one which leads into a slow song. Tries to get an atmosphere going and it's not too bad. Kind of works, to a degree. Makes me think of driving in the desert at night time. Refrain of 'Bleed out' in the chorus hints at despair of some sort.

5) Birds Of Paradise - More alternative flavour. Not too bad. Gets quite dramatic toward the end with a solo piano and anguished vocals. Well, I say anguished but they're more like 'wobbly'. Then everything kicks back in and takes us onward. Fades out towards the end. Nice.

6) Hinterland - This one rocks things up in an alternative way and gets off to a great start already with some nice guitar effects in the background. Quite uplifting vocal melodies in the chorus. Yes, this is a good song. So far, the 'half time report' is that this is indeed a good album. Not one that will see regular rotation at Chez Jermyn but should make plenty people happy.

7) G.O.A.T - More of a straight-forward rocker, this one has quite a swagger to it. Sounds like The Doors at their rockier moments, but without drunken acid poetry. Another great song.

8) Deeply Ordered Chaos - Sounds like Donald Trump. Keyboard intro with crashing chords, sounds like something that would be played midway through the live show when everyone gets their lighters out. Things get a bit more lively with the pace quickening up and keyboards in the background sounding like orchestras. then it ends abruptly.

9) Avalanche Of Light - Another rocker, it's ok but pretty much nondescript. Not really much else to say about this one.

10) Lilies - Quite a good one, once again quite reminiscent of mid-90's alternative stuff. Loud enough, at any rate! Over quite quickly which is a shame, would have been good to hear more of this one.

11) Heathens - More rock stuff in the traditional sense. Not too bad, I guess. Not really much to say about it.

12) Sound And Fury - Distinct lack of 'fury' to begin with, although I'm guessing that's coming. With it's piano, simple drum beat and heartfelt vocals, it sounds like one of those introspective pieces that conjure up images of smokey bars and world-weary patrons. Or even black and white French movies or something. Nope, continues in this vein for the duration of the song. Alright if you like this sort of thing.

Well, that was a canny enough album. Seems to be quite the focus on more alternative kinds of rock which is fair enough if you're into that stuff. I'd definitely try before buying though.

7 - This is good and well worth a check.

Chris J.

Top Tack: Hinterland.

This album is available on iTunes.


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