The Cult is a very busy band these days. Determined to once again get back in the limelight, they've not only released a complete and remastered back catalogue, but are also planning to release a new studio album and a rare tracks box later this autumn. And if you add vocalist Ian Astbury's current solo album "Spirit Light Speed" to this, you got yourself one massive comeback attempt.
It's, in other words, prosperous times for their most devoted fans. But for the rest of us, who occasionally tap our feet to the sound of The Cult's melodic rock, a compilation will do just fine. The remastered "Pure Cult - The Singles 1984-1995" is, apart from a slightly updated tracklisting, identical to the 1993 compilation "Pure Cult - For Rockers Ravers, Lovers and Sinners". And as a survey of the intense but very uneven musical progress of The Cult, both these albums manages pretty well.
Listening to early tracks like "Resurrection Joe" and the great "Spiritwalker" you understand why they once was labelled as a gothic band. This is to a lesser extent true for two of my personal favourites, "She Sells Sanctuary" and "Rain". But as the eighties grew older it stood clear that the roots of The Cult were to be found in more traditional forms of rock'n'roll and heavy metal. Honest AC/DC rip-offs like "Lil' Devil" and "Love Removal Machine" taken from the 1987 album "Electric" aren't very exciting, but still an important part of what the band is all about.
Except from the brilliant and unusually electronically "The Witch", the few attempts to renew themselves during their nineties have been rather lame. But you can't disregard from the fact that The Cult is a band with a whole lot of integrity and soul that, even in their worst moments, can't hide their endless passion for rock'n'roll. And that is actually quite an achievement.