Hearing the backing vocal chants of “We got the drugs the drugs in here” in “Honey From a Knife” can be a bit off-putting at first. The song starts off like a hard rock weapon, a loaded gun firing dead-on, and then that strange inclusion. It’s certainly not as irritating as the cheerleading in Madonna’s “Give Me All Your Luvin’” but it is a bit puzzling. And so starts The Cult’s ninth studio album, Choice of Weapon.
Of course, as far as “Honey From a Knife” is concerned, the more you listen, the more you like it. But it is probably the weakest track. The others are pretty sensational. Choice of Weapon sounds like the combined flavor of The Cult’s best albums: Love and Electric. Choice of Weapon may not be as masterful, but it is almost as pleasurable.
Billy Duffy’s guitar remains both eerie and violent, and then at other times soothing and hypnotic. Ian Astbury’s voice has changed over the years. His vocals are still strong, still intense, but more rough, maybe more Morrison-esque. As always, Duffy and Astbury together are an unstoppable force: “Lucifer,” “The Wolf,” “Amnesia” are all unique hard rockers. And the intelligent poetry of Astbury’s lyrics send out substance: loud messages about human fault and frailty. His lyrics do more than entertain. They make you think.
Some critics have said Choice of Weapon is just as good as Sonic Temple. Fact is, it’s better.
Choice of Weapon will be available on May 22. Pre-order here.