By Daniel Watts
Music Reviewer and Segment Producer
Last month The Cult released their 10th studio album titled Hidden City. It was produced by Bob Rock and issued on the Cooking Vinyl label.
The featured lineup on Hidden City consists of Ian Astbury on vocals, Billy Duffy on guitar and John Tempesta on drums. Additional musicians include Chris Chaney and Bob Rock on bass, Jamie Muhoberac on piano and keyboards and Dan Chase on drums.
Hidden City is the final installment of the band’s “spiritual” trilogy that began with 2007’s Born Into This.
While The Cult didn’t drift too far from their familiar mainstay of Pop and Rock, I do think the band sounds fresh and energized. In my opinion Ian Astbury’s weathered but warming vocals are fantastic. Billy Duffy’s guitar is loud, fun and dangerous. Also, John Tempesta does an amazing job of adding a thumping, driving backbone to these songs. I found Hidden City to be a grower. It took me a few listens before I could fully understand and appreciate what The Cult has created. Once I was able to embrace the album though, it became hard to hit the pause button.
I don’t think Hidden City is The Cult’s greatest effort, but I do think it's their best in recent years. The band sounds consistent and their ability to make an array of different sounds and textures mesh is top notch. The psychedelic, spiritual lyrics paint a wide and colorful landscape that is sure to grab your attention. Because of these things I think the band’s level of creativity on Hidden City is excellent. I think Bob Rock did an amazing job with the production, it’s clean and clear.
I like all Hidden City has to offer but my go to tracks are, starting with “Dark Energy”. The song features a back-to-basics style Rock beat. It’s very catchy. “Dance the Night” is a fun and uplifting song that has me thinking of sunshine and good times. “In Blood” has a striking resemblance to The Doors’ “Riders On the Storm” but when the chorus comes around it’s pure Cult. “Hinterland” is a frantic and chaotic journey through the mind of The Cult. Lastly, “G O A T” sounds like it could have been on Sonic Temple. It’s a heavier track that features some great guitar slinging and a strong vocal delivery by Ian Astbury.