Wednesday, 19 May 2010

CD Review: Electric, by The Cult (1987)

Three albums into their career, The Cult take their first dive into the heavy metal pool and emerge with a half-successful album. There are excellent and memorable tracks on Electric, unfortunately dragged down by some real dead-weights.

As produced by Rick Rubin, Electric sounds sparse, and this is a big part of its appeal: the songs would likely sound the same if The Cult played them live at the local community centre.

Ian Astbury wails away on clean, high-pitched vocals; Billy Duffy matches him with simple wailing riffs on guitar. Les Warner on drums doesn't sound much more elaborate than Ringo Starr, and Jamie Stewart's bass is pretty basic.

Overall, The Cult on the best tracks deliver an attractive heavy sound based on good songwriting and tight delivery, rather than an overdose of power, speed or volume. It's too bad that Electric features a clutch of forgettable songs, including a needless version of Born To Be Wild. And it's really too bad that Memphis Hip Shake, one of the worst songs ever written or recorded by an established band, somehow made it onto the album.

But the good material is also here: Wild Flower, Bad Fun and Love Removal Machine are all cool and pleasantly infectious, combining the band's emerging energy with a strong current of...electricity.

Ian Astbury - Vocals
Billy Duffy - Guitars
Jamie Stewart - Bass
Les Warner - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Wild Flower - 9
2. Peace Dog - 7
3. Lil' Devil - 8
4. Aphrodisiac Jacket - 8
5. Electric Ocean - 8
6. Bad Fun - 9
7. King Contrary Man - 7
8. Love Removal Machine - 9
9. Born To Be Wild - 7
10. Outlaw - 7
11. Memphis Hip Shake - 4

Average: 7.55

Produced by Rick Rubin.
Engineered and Mixed by Andy Wallace.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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