x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

The Cult are back to their swaggering best with Choice of Weapon

An uproarious return to form from the gothic post-punks.

The Cult
Choice of Weapon
(Cooking Vinyl)
****

While 1987's Electric saw The Cult morph from gothic post-punks to bona fide hard rockers, further reinventions have not been forthcoming. Choice Of Weapon confirms that this is a good thing, its merging of heroic riffs and wholehearted lyrical blether tremendous fun. Not everyone will buy into the Merseyside, England-born Ian Astbury singing about the pounding of his "wild Indian heart", but his commanding baritone is still the perfect foil for the gritty guitar work of his fellow founding-member Billy Duffy. Between them, they ensure sparks fly on Elemental Light, its snake-charming riff a relative of that which opens the 1985 Cult classic She Sells Sanctuary, and Life > Death (sic), an epic ballad with shades of Led Zeppelin and glam-era David Bowie. Astbury made for a convincing Jim Morrison when Ray Mansarek recruited him for shows with The Doors Of The 21st Century in 2002, but when the singer returned to The Cult for 2007's Born into This, his group sounded like a spent force. Choice of Weapon, by contrast, is an uproarious return to form. The Cult are back to their swaggering best.