I bunked off my swim early this morning because after 16,450m in the pool last week, I was feeling a little stiff and achy and decided to give my shoulders an extra days break. Monday night’s interval spin-weights workout is still on the books, however, and I have the ‘Love‘ album by The Cult all queued up and ready to kick things off.
This 1985 album (Beggar’s Banquet) displayed a marked improvement over the Cult’s early material, and though it remains underappreciated in America (worldwide it was a smash, reaching #4 in the UK and staying on the chart for 22 weeks afterwards), this exceptional record has actually aged better than the band’s more notorious (and equally important) releases: ‘Electric‘ and ‘Sonic Temple‘.
Equal parts psychedelic hard rock and new wave goth, the songs on ‘Love‘ emanate a bright guitar sheen, tight arrangements, crisp drumming, and a command performance from vocalist Ian Astbury, who as usual says a lot more with less than most singers. Overall, the album benefits from a wonderful sense of space, thanks in large part to guitarist Billy Duffy (who is much more subdued here than on future releases), whose restraint is especially notable on ‘Revolution‘ and the remarkably uncluttered title track. Duffy also provides compelling melodies (‘Hollow Man‘), driving riffs (‘Nirvana‘, ‘The Phoenix‘), and even a U2-like intro to ‘Big Neon Glitter‘. Also on offer is the near-perfect ‘She Sells Sanctuary‘ and the smash hit ‘Rain‘, quite possibly the band’s most appealing single ever, which rocked out worlds back in our pre-high school years. Personally, I also think that ‘Hollow Man’ never got the credit it rightfully deserved.
I kept the pace/intensity somewhat down key tonight as I’m heading back into the Brock “torture lab” (Kinesiology lab) to begin their latest study on the “Effects of Hyperpoxia on Exercise Performance in the Cold” (yup, I’m going to become a human Popsicle) beginning with my VO2-max test, so the doors to hell are getting et to open once again. Good news is that by the end of the next four weeks, I should know if Hell does in fact freeze over.
God help me.