1989 rolls around and The Cult featuring Ian Astbury, Billy Duffy, and Jamie Stewart along with Bob Rock at the control center unleashed one of the best sounding hard rock albums that in 2021 still sounds supreme!
Crazy to think Sonic Temple is 32 years old. Where does the time fly?
Once again this past Christmas I was gifted with “Sonic Temple” on vinyl which is spread out nicely over two double records that even has some bonus material on them.
This album kicks serious ass from the get go. Opener “Sun King” kicks the party off and the sound is massive. Cheers to Bob Rock and Mike Fraser for dialling it in sonically on this album.
“Fire Woman” has that great opening Duffy street rock riff and the song lifts off from there. Astbury was in his element here as I can still visual him in the video for this track digging his heals in at becoming that Arena Rock Guy which he dug for a time I’m sure before not too long after he kinda didn’t dig it.
Maybe I’m wrong here but either way the song still sounds good today on local crap radio.
“Sonic Temple” fuses some huge Zep like rock on tracks like “Soul Asylum” while others like “New York City” is one of those hard driving balls out rock tracks that will smack you you around like if Iggy Pop was doing the smacking! (See what I did there?). Mickey Curry from Bryan Adams band handled the drums on this record and keeps The Cult on track.
“Sweet Soul Sister” with that cool driving bass line courtesy of Jamie Stewart is another bonafide hit. How about that chorus and guitar solo from Billy Duffy.
With it being 1989 sure there would be a ballad included which is “Edie (Ciao Baby)”. For all the sap power ballads that we’re racing up the charts back than “Edie” was a different kind of tune one in which I like and maybe that is because of WolfChilds vocals or the fact that tune ramps up.
The rest of this album is killer. It’s all a brilliantly written heavy rock record and what better way than to end the sonic assault than all us of hoping on the “Medicine Train”!
Thats the great thing about Duffy/Astbury and Stewart back than as they didn’t follow the cheese rock formula. Instead they forged their own path sonically and this album delivers that in spades.
Check out Mike Lebrain on Youtube as a few weeks back we chatted with Mike Fraser who told us some great stories about working with these guy’s in the studio.