Featured Album

November 05, 1996
Beggars Banquet
Pop/Rock, Hard Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative/Indie Rock, British Metal

Album Review

With the exception of two previously unreleased new songs, "In the Clouds" and "Beauty's on the Street," plus a couple of tweaks here and there, High Octane Cult is virtually identical to the previously import-only collection, Pure Cult, (released in 1993 and re-released stateside in 2000 with a slightly altered track listing). The only difference being that H.O.C. is released directly by Warner Bros. affiliate Sire and Pure Cult is available on the band's European label, Beggars Banquet. Even though the Cult make a valid argument for being one of the most artistically, self-defeatist bands in music history, whereby, they continuously confused and alienated their audience by changing direction, one certainly can't argue with the wealth of primo material here on display. Like all good greatest-hits or best-of collections, taken as a thread, these songs still sound great. Tracks like the magical "Revolution," "She Sells Sanctuary," "Fire Woman," and especially "Rain" are, quite simply, magnificent. Even when the band veers into techno waters on the Rick Rubin-produced "The Witch" (later revisited on Ian Astbury's solo record Spirit/Light/Speed), the band comes through on the sheer strength of Astbury's great voice. Other FM monsters like "Edie (Ciao Baby)" and "Love Removal Machine" couldn't be more different from one another, and yet each works as a singular entity. Anthems like "Sweet Soul Sister" and early single "Resurrection Joe," again, make extraordinary arguments for the band's maturing process. Lastly, it's a shame that Warner Bros. didn't spend more time repackaging this release. Some additional photos and perhaps better liner notes would have been a nice selling point.
John Franck, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. In the Clouds
  2. She Sells Sanctuary
  3. Fire Woman
  4. Lil' Devil
  5. Spiritwalker
  6. The Witch
  7. Revolution
  8. Coming Down
  9. Love Removal Machine
  10. Rain
  11. Edie (Ciao Baby)
  12. Heart of Soul
  13. Star
  14. Wild Flower
  15. Resurrection Joe
  16. Wild Hearted Son
  17. Sweet Soul Sister
  18. Beauty's on the Street