The Cult – Dreamtime (1984): Review

cult

Produced by John Brand and Chris Kimsey
Label – Beggars Banquet

After releasing two previous L.P.’s as the Southern Death Cult and Death Cult, the band shortened their name to The Cult and launched their Goth/Rock “Dreamtime” in 1984. Led by Ian Astbury, a vocalist stylised on Jim Morrison and Native American Theology, with Guitarist Billy Currie (from Theatre Of Hate), Jamie Stewart on Bass, and Nigel Preston on Drums.

Overall, one feels that “Dreamtime” is a typical early 80s example of a band desperate for identity, fiddling with precious Gothic posturing, and struggling to find material which would mix this post punk methodology with heavy rock into a rounded and coherent work. Trying to mix these distinct genres is difficult, and the band struggle to clearly portray any distinct direction. Apart from the single “Spiritwalker” and “Bad Medicine Waltz”, the album lacks focus trading on dark posturing and insufficiently strong melodies. Astbury’s vocals often seem flat, and the album sounds as if it was recorded in a muffled sock.

They would soon find their identity on 1985s “Love”, but “Dreamtime” is definitively style before substance, and overall an album of almost suffocating drabness.

5/10

Track Listing
“Horse Nation” – 3:45
“Spiritwalker” – 3:39
“83rd Dream” – 3:38
“Butterflies” – 3:00
“Go West (Crazy Spinning Circles)” – 3:59
“Gimmick” – 3:33
“A Flower in the Desert” – 3:42
“Dreamtime” – 2:47
“Rider in the Snow” – 3:11
“Bad Medicine Waltz” – 5:55

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