1989 is rolling along and bam here comes the Cult with there super duper produced Bob Rock opus Sonic Temple. The build up to this release was huge,I mean we were buzzing with anticipation of the Sonics coming from the Temple!
The Cult knew how to build a buzz and man they delivered a huge some would say C*%k Rock release but for me a plain out ol masterpiece that could go toe to toe with Electric but they were different beasts. Electric is street rock thats gonna take you out in the backyard and kick your ass in whereas Sonic Temple will be a little more refined in the backyard perhaps a BBQ and some cold ones are on tap than a ass kickin!
This is the Cult streamlined gone is Les Warner and his sideburns on drums and session guy Mickey Curry is recruited for the studio and along with regulars Astbury/Duffy and Stewart the Cult bangs out some serious Rockage!
Ian ditches the wolf hat and tambourine and begins a new journey as the,
SUN KING- some slow drums and bass throbbing start track one and before you know it the Cult shift gears and are locked and loaded and into the Sun King and the first thing you notice as a listener is this is big time Arena Rock, gone is the back alley ass kicking sound of Electric in its place is The Cult going for the 20,000 seat arena pay days! By golly it worked for a time! Super catchy Chrous and man what a start…
FIRE WOMAN- the big debut single Astbury throws in some shake shake shakes which is his style and it’s pretty damn apparent that Billy Duffy has a ton of huge rock riffs up his sleeve. Yee ha! Classic Cult and Astbury has stepped up lyrically. Love the line about the hot tin shack!
AMERICAN HORSE-Stick it in your ear cause it ain’t exactly clear what you people hear! Ha your right Ian. This song shifts almost into a Aerosmithy zone at the end by the fade out but I tell ya the Cult are serious with the craft here. Kinda funny how Astbury hated this period of the Cult well from what I read,like why man?,playing arenas?selling zillions of records?your face plastered everywhere,?women throwing themselves at ya???party treats everywhere?geez dude at the time of this release I was washing dishes in a kitchen hospital and the only thing being thrown my way were burnt pots from the cooks! I should have hated this time myself but you know what ..I loved it man, it fed my addiction and that’s RAWK!
EDIE- ahh Ian And Billy find a moments silence and Billy turns the Marshall down and for a ballad at the time(89) this is a good one not like that Bad English rubbish that was trying to assault my senses..pretty atmospheric this track is with the use of strings…good job Cult good job!
SWEET SOUL SISTER-some solo keys start this tune off and than Billy and the boys join in and man this is a great rock track! Super duper catchy Chrous! Some duper cool solo! Super Duper vocal delivery just plain old Super F*%kin Duper Tune. Plus for good measure Astbury chucks in some cool Hustle and Struts along with some ya ya’s thrown in and it’s all good!
SOUL ASYLUM-7 minutes plus Cult. On the Electric album that would have been two Cult songs so the boys here are stretching there wings so to speak and were right into a Zep/Cult mash up! What a great tune …epic comes to mind…slow slow builder. This boys and girls is not a song ! It’s a masterpiece !
NEW YORK CITY- The Cult bid adieu to Zep and smash and grab and make the pilgrimage into NYC and it’s a quick energized track and basically it’s Ian telling ya to stay out of Hells Kitchen! Iggy Pop makes a guest appearance and all bets are off as Billy lays down a great solo and this song rocks. If you need a boot in the ass on a Monday morning. Crank this little sucka up!
AUTOMATIC BLUES-is another kinda mid tempo song. Big Chrous and big riffs having said that at least the Cult don’t pansy out when they do decide to take it a little commercial! Ian ain’t no sucker he ain’t no fool just talking about the Automatic Blues. Plus back than when Ian was headed for a bit of commercialism he would still toss out a lot of ohh,ohh ,baby,baby,baby………
SOLDIER BLUE- Mickey Curry drives this tune on the drums. It’s a snappy happy Duffy shuffle on guitar as well. Lyrically for the Cult this is as deep as it gets! To me it sound like Ian is asking about the perils of war and what good is it for.( insert serious comment here)
WAKE UP TIME FOR FREEDOM- you know me and TBone talked about how it’s great when you get into 7 or 8 tracks into a album and there are songs as good as tracks 1-5. This for me is one of em! Cool laid back song and some cool cowbell and percussion jive up this track and Astbury delivers the goods vocally. Love how outside of NYC on side two that these tracks are pushing 5 minutes in length.
MEDICINE TRAIN-man over time this is my fav song off of Sonic Temple! Love the harp at the beginning of the tune followed by a big Duffy riff with Astbury torching out a shout of Shotgun!! And now were riding on the Medicine Train…never coming down again! Sounds good Ian and of course Ian and Billy rip out in hyper speed with Ian bellowing ..oh Gimmie a lot of that Medicine,whoa oh Train! Whoosh…..what a great ending now get the frigg of the Cult Xpress !
IN CONCLUSION- so once again the Cult delivered in huge spades! I mean what a way to go out in the late 80s a TKO that’s for sure! Ian and Billy delivered a solid batch of tunes and they were twisted at the controls by Bob Rock and the this album made em arena headliners back in 89! An all time great rock masterpiece!