Monday, March 20, 2017
Eugeology: Eugene's List of Hard Rock Albums and Possible Gems Part 9 - The Cult 'Electric'
My apologies for getting to this late. My excuse is work where everything went over a cliff. I'm still getting caught up with this top 50 hard rock albums and work as well. So let's get to it...
Let me just say it… ‘Electric’ kicks ass.
Sure, I thought ‘Love’ was an okay album. I liked it, but it didn’t really knock me down.
But when Adrienne put that vinyl LP on the system at Peaches Music & Video on High Point Road in Greensboro… I was like the guy in the old Maxell ad.
“Wildflower” got my attention in a hurry. One lone guitar is cranking and then the song kicks in. By the time the chorus rolled around, I was tempted to follow a dancing Adrienne around the store so we could start a conga line with other employees and customers.
Right away I knew it was the Rick Rubin sound.
I’m sure that made the rounds in the press, but The Cult didn’t necessary have my attention at that point. Rubin’s production sound has a certain imprint that is easily detected by ears familiar with his work behind the knobs.
And the important thing after a good opening number, your follow up better jam too. And “Peace Dog” certainly does that! Billy Duffy really brings the nasty with his riffs on this song while Ian Astbury’s vocals sound strong enough to bend steel.
“Lil’ Devil” brings a more playful sound to the album for a little more lighthearted sound. But what about the lyrics?
The lyrics are little trippy through the whole album. (“Lobster telephone”?) I would listen and ask myself what the hell that meant. But again, the stone cold jams make you kinda forget about the lyrics. The album is just full of rifftastic songs and it’s meant to be played louder than a jet on a tarmac.
“Aphrodisiac Jacket” really shows how Rubin uses the space (nothing) on a blank canvas to actually fill space. Sometimes less is better without overdub and overdub. The guitar overdubs are there to really punch you in the gut just when the time is right.
The rest of side one still kicks ass with the songs “Electric Ocean” and “Bad Fun”. And then side two comes in with a vengeance!
“King Contrary Man” rips up the blues scale with its scathing brand of blistering rock n’ roll. And the song is still a go-to when I pick up a guitar and need a little warm up. Unfortunately, I never really warm up that well any more since I rarely pick up a guitar. Then “Love Removal Machine” jumps right in with a slight tinge of The Rolling Stones “Start Me Up” in the opening riffs.
Now some people don’t really care for The Cult’s take on covering “Born To Be Wild”, but I think it adds a new dimension to the song. There’s a slow grind that sets up for a lead solo payload.
“Outlaw” is a great song to sing along with when you’re driving at speeds slightly over the speed limit with all the windows down and the stereo blasting. And “Memphis Hip Shake” closes out the album with rifftastic guitars.
Do I think Tim will like this?
No. Tim doesn’t care for what I like to call real rock n’ roll. He likes polished songs where every note is right and calculated. Every voice is immaculate. ‘Electric’ shows how kick ass The Cult could be and were. At time, Astbury’s vocals are straining and that’s the point of Rubin’s production. Let’s hear some real rock n’ roll pushing to the limits. And I think that’s what I like the most about ‘Electric’. It sounds like it could come off the tracks at any moment. Even after 30 years, the album still resonates with the do-it-yourself kind of mentality with the good polished edges that Rubin’s sands down for listeners.
I but I understand Tim’s problems with “less precise” music. I used to hate Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones because of their lack of precision. But once I started playing rock n’ roll, it didn’t matter. There’s a vibe that’s so primal and it hits most of us all right in the boogie center. And since Tim is in his 40s, I’m starting to think that he has a boogie center deficiency. He just doesn’t seem to have one. Then again, it could be there’s a stick firmly wedged so far up his poop chute that no songs or artists can hit his boogie center G-spot.
Check out Tim and Jon Lowder’s take on this album.