Album Review: The Cult - Choice Of Weapon

14 June 2012 | 12:14 pm | James Dawson

The Cult are still holding the torch high for rock’n’roll.

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The Cult are one of those rare breed of rock bands who retain their credibility throughout a long spanning career, whilst also remaining relevant to the times without falling into the pitfalls of passing trends. On Choice Of Weapon The Cult opt for a rawer, leaner sound and whilst the overall tone of this record is rock, there are some fragile melancholy moments that add depth and sincerity to what easily could have been a 'play by numbers' rock record.

Frontman Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy's songwriting on opening track Honey From A Knife symbolises the band's raw edge with strong punk overtones evident in both the music and melody. Quick to contradict themselves, Elemental Light broods slowly with Astbury singing “I run into the wild places I'm so alive”, hinting at the beauty of life, whereas the previous track is a frantic drug-induced run through a NYC street. The Wolf has a classic Cult guitar intro akin to She Sells Sanctuary. The pace slows down for gut-wrenching ballads, Life>Death and Wilderness Now. The band gets experimental on the deceptive Amnesia which moves through tempo and tonality changes effectively representing the songs title.

On Choice Of Weapon, Astbury, whilst not at his vocal peak, manages to reveal himself through some personal lyrics which definitively sets the tone for the album and also gives the record its depth. Musically the band is solid, however the deliberate under-production of this album is slightly detrimental to its overall effectiveness. That aside the songs are reasonably well-structured punk/rock songs, ultimately proving that The Cult are still holding the torch high for rock'n'roll.