Spirit Light Speed

Beggars Banquet

Back On Earth - Reminds me of Sympathy For The Devil. Great opening number, and it really got into my head.

Hi Time Amplifier - I've had this one for a while, from the sampler. This is supposed to be the first single from the album. Pretty good song, lots of effects, but I would have chosen a different song as the first single. I can see why this one was chosen first, though, because it's more rocking then the others I would have suggested.

Devil's Mouth - Neat song. Lots of weird stuff going on in it. This whole album has a lot of experiemental sounds, and this song really focuses on it.

Tonight - One of my favorites. Slower song, but possibly worthy of being a single. This one really stayed in my head.

Metaphysical Pistol - Reminds me of Midnite Exspress from his Holy Barbarian days. This song does have vocals, and they are dark. "His life is just a trip from the maternity ward to the crematorium". This is one of the songs that makes me think Ian is an unbelievable writer. This song touches emotions, but it's sad.

The Witch - A nice reworking of this classic. You all know what it's like, this version is just a bit different.

It's Over - Another song from the sampler, I've had some time to think about this one, too. This is a rocker, the more I listen to it, the more I like it.

El Cid - I love this song! This is another example of just how gifted Ian is as a songwriter. If Ian was to do this song accoustically, it could be one of the most beautiful songs you've ever heard. My only complaint about this song is that there is just a little too much sampling in it for me. This is my first choice as a song that could have a remix with it. I thought if it was done in the same vein as Garbage's Classic mix of Milk, it could be gorgeous. This is one of the most touching songs on the disc, and don't get me wrong, despite my critism of it, I love it.

Tyger - Another song along the same vein as Devil's Mouth. Lots of wierd stuff going on in this song, too. This is a good song.

Shambala - This is the insturmental on the album. When I heard there was going to be an insturmental, I was a little reserved about it. After listening to the song, I really enjoyed it. Again a lot of sampling and stuff going on in it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this album. One of my favorite things about Ian's songwriting abilities is his ability to touch emotion. This whole album does it, and to me that is a sign of a good songwriter. If Ian was ever to give up his rock and rolling, I would hope he would continue to write poetry, because man, he can touch emotions in ways I never knew. I am a fan of music that means something to me, that was my first attraction to The Cult, and this disk does not dissapoint.

Jon Taylor - jtaylor@coastnet.com


IAN ASTBURY

"Itís Over"

...from Spirit\Light\Speed

I think I have ESP. Here I was all set to start off by telling you that the title of former Cult frontman, Ian Astbury's, new solo album sounds vaguely like that of Primal Scream's track, "Shoot Speed Kill Light" from the album of the year, XTRMNTR. And what do the two parties in question go and do? Overnight, they turn into a publicized mutual admiration club. Pish. Apparently, according to the NME, the Primals' LA show at the House of Blues was attended by Astbury, among other important music biz types. And while the legendary Simon Jones of the Sex Pistols would later join the band on stage, Bobby Gillespie (himself,the embodiment of guerilla, animal sex with maracas and a permanent head rush...*swoon*) took the opportunity to dedicate "Higher Than the Sun" to Astbury whom he termed "a real rock star." It's not too unusual to have one raver-cum-guerilla rocker acknowledge a fellow musician who himself makes quite a turnabout on his latest solo release; from hard rocking, proto-goth caprice in the form of The Cult to the Jekyll-esque industrial-meets-blues sound of Astbury's 2000 Beggars Banquet release. And the similarities between the two keep on running through the fact that both have a certain fascination with revolution. While Primal Scream's latest album makes the obsession more than obvious with the profusion of army gear and quasi-political conscience, Astbury opts for a more aesthetic plunge into the armchair terrorism. The album's cover features not only a Primal-esque stencil font but also a portrait of the artist as a not-so-young man that resembles the notorious interpretation of Che Guevara that can be found on many a poster. On top of that, one of the album's prettiest tracks has a split title of "El Che/Wild Like a Horse." Things that make you go hmmm. Or mmm, rather. "It's Over" stomps through your head like an elephant being ridden by a cowboy, with the flexibility of Astbury's voice being the most uncompromising delicacy. He is at once a mythical king along the lines of Brendan Perry, a gritty blues rocker, and Peter Murphy locked in solitary confinement with a number of classic rock records. Ian Astbury is everything but over.

Tania Biswas - tania@quentincrisp.com


Since Ian Astbury bolted from the Cult tour in 1995, he's come up with music that's bound to leave some fans scratching their heads.

In stores Tuesday, his new solo album is a mix of electronica and rock - et tu, Ian? While it sometimes sounds like Cult outtakes grafted onto dance grooves, with plenty of bells and whistles scrambling for attention, there are worthy moments. The Witch, with its fast fuzz guitars in a funky drive, is the strongest of the lot, while the spooky, spoken-word-laced Metaphysical Pistol is the most experimental. Astbury's distinctive operatic vocals hold it all together - barely.

This sounds like a work in progress, a template for hopefully better things to come - now that neither rock nor the Cult turn out be dead after all.

Mike Ross - Edmonton Sun


Even amongst some of the fashion and musical disasters that emerged from the Leeds Goth scene of the mid-80s, the Cult were the most laughable and yet bafflingly successful. To this day, no-one knows why, but America lapped up the sight of a stumpy Yorkshireman in a buffalo skin head dress, caterwauling like the bastard offspring of Glenn Danzig and Shirley Bassey, trying to pass himself off as a shaman, while a Whitesnake covers band mauled some chords in the back ground. Now rather than believing that he's Big Chief Running Nose, former Cult vocalist Ian Astbury started to labor under the misapprehension that he's Ian Brown: a half-witted has-been who, now wrenched away from the talented ones in his band, has started to peddle wretched, over produced, shuffling bluesy techno-tinged nonsense. Even the sleeve, a quasi-portrait in muted browns, passes itself off as something that fell out of the inner sleeve of King Monkey's Adventures In Bozo Land. Imagine Alabama 3 without the irony or a Primal Scream at whom you could cheerfully lob rocks. OK, more cheerfully than usual.

The result is the most unconvincing slab of faux-Americana since Blur went gospel, or possibly even since U2 discovered their extremely well-disguised Delta Blues roots. Plodding, monosyllabic, self-important and meaningless (wouldn't you shoot anyone that inflicted the couplet "a metaphysical pistol with a gut full of hate/ a metaphysical pistol with a heart full of light" for crimes against pretension?). Not that we should be surprised: Astbury's career has been built around missing the boat and the point. The only disappointment is that, somehow, he's managed to con the king of stoner rock, ex-Masters Of Reality guitarist Chris Goss, into collaborating on this leaden atrocity. Yet rather than concentrating on the sly thrumming blues that are his trademark, there's some heinously forced sub-world music tosh, like the bad bhangra-lite of Devil's Mouth. Yet even that is overshadowed by the unspeakably atuneful, atonal re-hashing.... make that a plain hash of Cult fan favorite The Witch. The new Sit Return version to be found here would, in a reasoned world, be an abandoned demo, so hopelessly misguided that incineration or incarceration are the only reasonable fates. By adding producer/DJ Witchman to the mix, Astbury seems to be hoping for a unique melding of sensibilities and styles. What he gets is three people seemingly working on completely different songs and the most glaring example yet of the technical gap between his own "Learn Guitar In Six Easy Lessons" plunk-plunk strumming and Goss' own mastery. Unfortunately, Goss' brilliance is not matched this time around by his inspiration, and the result is fruitless, formless meanderings, rather than the thunderous, sinewy epics for which he used to be revered. As for Astbury's voice, the pub singer tendencies that were rarely suppressed are given full note-throttling liberty, making one extremely glad that Billy Idol had the good grace to just quit.

Possibly Astbury was hoping to conjure up the mystical spirit of Jim Morrison's moodier mumblings. But rather than An American Prayer, it's rather reminiscent of the scene in Wayne's World 2 when the Native American is wandering around with his arse out. You can't help staring, but it's for all the wrong reasons.

Spirit\Light\Speed by Ian Astbury is out on Beggars Banquet, as is his first solo outing as lead of The Holy Barbarians.

RMW


In 1994, The Cult's eponymous last album showed that Billy Duffy and Ian Astbury were beginning to distance themselves from the stadium-friendly rockism into which they'd lapsed by the early '90s. Six years later, after a stint with the Holy Barbarians, Astbury has released his first solo effort, Spirit\Light\Speed, which attests to an even more marked musical evolution.

Taking a cue from one of his admittedly favorite bands, Primal Scream, on Spirit Astbury carries off a convincing hybridization of the textures of electronica and rock. The result is an engaging sonic venture that owes as much to the influence of the techno generation as it does to standard Astbury coordinates such as Led Zeppelin.

For the most part, Spirit exorcises any Duffy-esque ax antics and drops the anthemic pretensions and bombast of Sonic Temple and Ceremony-period Cult in favor of more subtle, integrated guitar work and an attention to beats and samples. Above all, Astbury shows that not only has he kept up with some of the more significant developments in certain variants of popular music over the last decade but, more importantly, he's able to craft his own distinctive and relevant contribution that doesn't sound out of place alongside many of today's younger acts.

Despite its contemporary feel, an unlikely influence on Spirit/Light/Speed is Jesus Christ Superstar. Astbury reports being inspired both by the emotive resonance of some of the songs from the rock opera and by its treatment of the notion of martyrdom, one of his own long-held lyrical preoccupations. It's precisely that subject matter that Astbury sets out re-explore on Spirit, albeit recontextualized amid what he terms "electronic landscapes."

The cover art itself announces a continued thematic concern with the martyr figure, featuring an image that appears to blend the face of Astbury himself and the familiar depiction of the Argentinian freedom fighter Che Guevara -- these days, unfortunately, a largely dehistoricized pop culture fashion accessory.

Che even gets his own song ("El Che/Wild Like a Horse") and, while it's one of the more memorable and melodic tracks on the album, it exemplifies a problem that has intermittently undermined Astbury's songwriting over the years: namely, his propensity for awkward lyrics of the high school poetry club variety. Of course, rock lyrics aren't literature and shouldn't be judged by the standards reserved for literary criticism or analysis, but when you do something like rhyming "French symbolist poetry" with "the BBC" -- as Astbury did on the last Cult album -- you've got to expect a few winces.

Although there are no cringers of that magnitude on this album, in certain places the lyrical content does blemish this otherwise respectable outing. While Astbury's "electronic landscapes" are fresh and compelling, with their driving beats and layers of sound, and while his voice is as effortlessly commanding and evocative as ever, on occasion you can hear the lyrics just a little too clearly.

"Metaphysical Pistol" and "Devil's Mouth" are two instances of solid tracks that are marred by their words. The latter foregrounds the diametrically opposed poles of Astbury's abilities: an unparalleled gift for soaring -- wordless -- vocal flourishes and a talent for unfortunate rhymes (check out the chorus). "Metaphysical Pistol" features some equally dodgy writing and Astbury compounds the problem by enlisting a sampled Alan Watts, spouting popular psychology/philosophy that now sounds only one rung above John Gray or The Celestine Prophecy. By the end of the track, however, Astbury introduces some heavy beats into the initially low-key affair, managing to whip it up and salvage things somewhat.

Minor grumblings aside, "Back On Earth" and the techno-meets-"Trampled Underfoot" of "High Time Amplifier" are unqualified successes. On these driving, forceful tracks all the components are well-integrated and arranged; and key among those elements is Astbury's voice, serving not so much as a vehicle for lyrics but as the effective and distinctive instrument that it always has been. Also noteworthy is the reworking of "The Witch," the hackneyed rock cliche of the lyrics eclipsed by its hypnotic and relentless, bass-heavy throb, reminiscent of classic Sisters of Mercy tracks like "Floorshow."
Equally strong is the straight-ahead, no-nonsense drive of "It's Over," with its vaguely Stooges guitar, bass and drum feel. Judging by this album, it's certainly not "over" for Ian Astbury yet. Indeed, The Cult are currently back together -- again -- and recording. It'll be interesting to see how much of the vitality and momentum of Spirit\Light\Speed Astbury will be able translate back to his renewed partnership with Duffy.

Wilson Neate


Re-Birth Of The Sun King

Hey brothers, hey sisters lets take a trip of Spirit\Light\Speed with Ian on his astral flight into the Naughties, Yeah he yeh!.

At last I have been able to buy Ian's long awaited solo project. It's been well worth the wait! He's done it, he's fused punk, techno, industrial, rock and ambient music into this fantastic album. The Wolf Child's voice has gained a regenerated tone similar to the days Dreamtime/Love so if you have not yet bought, go and get it.

Back On Earth is where Ian is at and I hope continues to stay for a long time! This track cunningly tricks you into thinking he's gone all plinky plonky until that killer riff of a bass line rips open into real music, electronica swirls and dark guitar rhythms bring us back to earth along with Ian. The album feels like you're on a journey, travelling with him and what he has been through.

High Time Amplifier personally to me isn't the strongest song on the CD, but that doesn't mean I don't like it. It's cool drum loops and fuzzy guitar hook are ok, but I don't think this track warranted release as the first single, as the remainder of the album strongly overshadows H T A.

Where next on this trip of Spirit\Light\Speed? I hear you ask, well, next stop is Devils Mouth. This enchanting track grasped my attention as soon as the ambient acoustics started, chimes, shaker and flute dancing through a slowly painted soundscape that evolves into a really great track. The lyrics come across as very personal to Ian, hence I guess the excellent singing, very mesmeric!

Tonite (Illuminated), the track I truly believe that should have been the single, perhaps it may well be the second off the album if there are anymore planned. As you'd expect from our idol he sweeps us back on the ride into Tonite, with crunchy rhythm guitars, strings and all sorts of whirly synth sounds giving a cerebral fix along with Chris Goss' ace Bass playing, this is my favourite track on the whole album.

If the preceding four tracks weren't enough, Metaphysical Pistol surely will entrance and please you with its dark Massive Attack-esque bass line. This is my favourite track on the album, the sheer dynamics of the way it has been produced and the unusual combination of looped samples and excellent bass line and of course Ian singing in his moodiest vocal mode here. Excellent!

The Witch (Slt Return) What else can be said of this well known classic Cult track, only that it is even more rhythmic than ever before. As the first line says So you finally found your rhythm man I guess Ian has definitely found his. Get up Dance, groove and sing along with this track turned up to 10 on your amplifier and have a High Time Amplifier brothers and sisters!!

It's Over I don't think so! Punk Rock is alive, thanks to Ian Astbury. My third favourite on this now almost warn out CD (due to excessive playing!!!) excellent guitars and cool drumming from our friend Scott Garrett makes this track a great rocking little number which you'll never get bored of.

El Che/Wild Like a Horse I'm not totally convinced with this one, I can't think of much to say about this one so I'll carry on to the next!

Tyger Another cool'n'moody track, Ian is at his sexiest here, Vocally that is!!! Tremolo guitars and smooth bass lines along with snippets of samples pad this lovely track out very well, I could imagine this as The Cult how I dreamed they could have been after their split in 95.

Shambala (R.F.L) The track starts out as quiet ambient tune and the Bham!! Punky guitars galore, rhythmic bangra style beats cool!!! As I said at the beginning Ian and his producer have worked well to bring together all styles of music for our listening pleasure.

Spirit/Light/Speed is a welcomed friend to my Cult and Cult related collection which I consider should be placed up there with the Love/Sonic Temple album status i.e. Successful!!! All that is left to say is Thanks Ian for a great album

Lets hope some of this style appears on the next Cult album, which I'm eagerly awaiting the release of!!!

For now enjoy!! Peace!

Kev (StarChild) Robinson - Wales, United Kingdom


So the shaman of the north, the Navaho of Bradford is back again after what seems like an eternity. The Cult fizzled out during a tour of South America in '95, only to reform in March '99 after this album was awaiting release. "So my concept for the solo album was that it should mix rock and electronica, be a cross between The Chemical Brothers and The Plastic Ono Band, when John and Yoko were really being soulful and experimental" claims our Ian grandly. Thus Spirit/Light/Speed opens up with Back On Earth and the same Astbury banshee wail, but now with a funked up and modern-sounding backbeat, topped off with some Sympathy -For-The-Devilish "wooh-woohing". High Time Amplifier is the the lead single though, and it's a bolshy beat-laden rock thing, but I prefer the vulnerability of Devil's Mouth, which is just simple, folksy, and beautiful. El Che/Wild Like A Horse is another fantastic song and a far better future hit single than the rather heavy-handed High Time Amplifier - but hey, what do I know? Altogether then this is an interesting attempt to push the boundaries of rock forward, whilst remaining exciting, vital, and most important of all it still ROCKS!!! Or as the man himself has it: "Whenever people would talk about music in terms of high art we'd always go 'No, no, it's visceral, it's sensual, it's sexual. It's not about discussion, it's about ACTION.'" Quite, Ian, quite!

By Matt Carless


What would happen, have you ever wondered, if Tim Curry in Frank'n'Furter garb were to be genetically fused at the voice box with Cilla Black? What do you mean, you've never wondered that?! Well, anyway, should anyone care, you'd have what's called an Ian Astbury.

With a murky-looking album cover and a reminder that Astbury is in The Cult, don't you know, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this is all a rather mediocre affair, for indeed it is.

Metaphysical Pistol sounds like (and probably is) a tape playing backwards, High Time Amplifier just _is_ Cilla Black, It's Over is a deceptive trick because there are three more tracks after it and none of the lyrics are even remotely inspiring, interesting or, the final saving grace for a songwriter, pop.

It's not that it's terrible - Astbury and collaborator Chris Goss achieve some startling effects with the production of the album and in places the atmospherics are arresting. But we are told that 'Spirit/Light/Speed' was recorded in the depths of a Californian desert, yet quite what effect this has had on Astbury's writing remains unclear.

There are worse albums in the world, very definitely. But there are many better ones too.

Michael Hubbard - June 2000


Ian Astbury is no stranger to alternative techno music. Aside from the techno influence that was evident on The Cult's last album, he also provided vocals on one track for rave band Messiah's "21st Century Jesus" and his voice was sampled on CNN's infamous 'Young, Stupid & White'. So, it is no big surprise that when he finally got around to recording a solo album, techno music would play a big part in it.

However, he hasn't done anything sad like bring William Orbit or Fat Boy Slim in an attempt to create something trendy and chartworthy. Instead, this is the sound of a musician playing around in the studio with a lot of different elements, in a way that fairly removed from what he normally does with The Cult. Back On Earth, for example, is a fairly Stonesy track, featuring an "ooh, ooh" backing vocal straight out of Sympathy For The Devil, combined with a fairly hard-hitting dance backing not a million miles away from Moby's version of the James Bond theme. Devil's Mouth, on the other hand, is very close to Chris Connelly's (Revolting Cocks, Damage Manual) quieter moments, backed with a wall of strings. There's also an updating of The Cult's first foray into techno, The Witch, which is far superior to the original.

All in all, this is the sound of Ian Astbury's instantly recognisable vocals, without the big leather trousers and hairspray rock bullshit (no "Baby, baby, baybeee!" on this). He sings, sometimes softly, sometimes more forcefully, but it's always him. This is also, thankfully, free of Billy Duffy's windmill guitar-wanking. This is nothing groundbreaking, but it is a fairly enjoyable updating of the beast that is Ian Astbury. The only question that remains is whether this is intended to be a purging of his dance music inclinations, or whether this stuff will be an element of the new Cult Rising sound. Time will tell, but here's hoping it's the latter.

Donnacha DeLong (Sorted MagAZine)


Let's face it. When your expectations are zero, it's not hard to beat them. Thankfully, if you consider Holy Barbarians or that last Cult album ground zero in the no-expectation category, then Ian Astbury's solo record Spirit/Light/Speed is a huge jump forward into competence. Don't be fooled, this is in no way comparable to early Cult masterworks, but songs like Tonight (Illuminated) and Metaphyscial Pistol show an ambition that seemed lacking in the last few Astbury projects. It's not a great artistic rediscovery, but at least it doesn't suck.

Aaron Brophy (Chartattack.com)


Ian Astbury, lead singer for the Cult, is back with a solo effort. Fans of the Cult won't be disappointed with this album. Back On Earth opens up with an electrified guitar riff that resembles a high-energy James Bond theme song. High Time Amplifier keeps the juice flowing. Astbury croons over a couple ballads, Devil's Mouth and Tonight, before experimenting with the sounds of trip-hop on Holy Traffic. A remake of the Cult's The Witch rocks hard, with fuzzy guitar riffs and vocoder-distorted vocals. The space rock-influenced Tyger is reminiscent of Radiohead. Astbury has clearly been listening to a broad range of musical styles, and does them all justice on Natural Born Guerilla.

Troy Mayhew


Ian Astbury, lead singer for the Cult, has just released his solo album entitled "Spirit\Light\Speed." For those of you who are fans of the Cult's raw, guitar driven assault, it may take a few listens to get comfy with this disc. But those who love Ian's passionate, unique vocals will be totally pleased. This album experiments with samples, programmed drums, ambient noises, and keyboards melting together with raw electric guitar and a touch of the acoustic on several ballads.

The first 2 tracks Back On Earth and High Time Amplifier are pushed by heavy dance beat grooves and electrically charged earthy vocals. Ian sings optimistically about Mother Earth and the possibility of peace and happiness through union with our planet and each other. His sensitive side emerges with Devil's Mouth, a mid-tempo acoustic ballad in which he sings "There's a devil in your mouth, but an angel in your heart.."

Other standout tracks include the slow dirty beat of Metaphysical Pistol with its Lou Reed-ish vocals and a feel of an intoxicating stroll down the back alleys of New York City. Tracks The Witch and It's Over are reminiscent of earlier Cult along the lines of "Electric" and "Sonic Temple." It's Over may be my fave, with it's groovy, clean guitar breaking into a heavy wah-wah riff providing the bed for Ian's soaring vocals. The next 2 cuts El Che/Wild Like A Horse and Tyger are similar in style and lyrical approach. Mid-tempo semi-ballads about the black and white sides of a beautiful woman, cunning yet exquisite, dirty yet pristine. He seems to be entranced by the fallen angel syndrome.

On the whole this album honestly took a few listens to get a grip on. But don't all great records? Ian's vocals are the shining point, still vibrato enhanced, passionate, and classy. I recommend this as an album to taste and chew on a bit at a time to truly savor it, and a must for fans of Ian and the Cult.

Steve Blaze (Metal Masters)


Whether it's the result of a karmic quirk or of nostalgic indulgence on the part of rock fans, there's no denying that Astbury's career suddenly and almost inexplicably has more legs than a Catholic girls' school. A founding member of the Cult, a group whose blend of old-school swagger and college-radio cool almost single-handedly kept the sound of electric guitars ringing on dance floors from Boston to Birmingham, Astbury in recent years has apparently overcome the vocal woes and substance-abuse problems that often made his band's live shows less than satisfying. What's more, last year the singer rejoined guitarist Billy Duffy and original Cult bassist Martyn Lenoble for a tour that clearly outshone anything the group did during its commercial heyday, if a somewhat sparsely but enthusiastically attended stop at Denver's Fillmore Auditorium is any indication. What's more, Astbury's once-again full-throated howl can currently be heard on Painted On My Heart, a song penned by hit machine Diane Warren that's the closing theme of the flick Gone in 60 Seconds. So will this renewed level of exposure catapult Astbury and his mates into a lengthy and lucrative resurgence like that of Aerosmith, another hard-rocking outfit that rose from the ashes of its own excess on the strength of twelve-step recovery and power ballads slicker than the floor of your local Jiffy Lube? Only if efforts like this CD are buried -- promptly and deeply.

Even Spirit\Light\Speed's most listenable cuts -- Back On Earth and Tonight (Illuminated) -- don't stay that way for long, mainly because of Astbury's limited melodic sense and penchant for noodling extensively with synthesized sounds in a desperate but vain attempt to prove he's still hip. Similar ills drag down High Time Amplifier, a tune whose rhythm track -- an edgy amalgam of tribal and techno influences -- is wasted under a chorus that makes Louie Louie sound imaginative. Tyger, on the other hand, sports some sinewy minor-key harmonies but ultimately is castrated by Astbury's uncharacteristic crooning of nonsense syllables, to say nothing of his laughable lyrical attempts to pay homage to poet William Blake. Conversely, Astbury's decision to offer up the 1989 composition The Witch (Slt Return), herein gussied up with more speaker-panning effects than an entire Pink Floyd album, smacks less of a desire for artistic expression than a too-late attempt to cash in on the success of The Blair Witch Project. The most disappointing aspect of Spirit\Light\Speed, however, is its lack of dynamic variations and song development, problems that are most evident in El Che/Wild Like a Horse. While classic Cult cuts such as Edie (Ciao Baby) rose to compelling -- if lyrically cryptic -- crescendos powered mainly by Duffy's muscular licks, Che supplies no support, sonic or semantic, for the singer's assertion that the femme fatale he's addressing is indeed as untamed as the song's namesake. It's Over, on the other hand, places the guitars solidly front and center, if only to distract listeners' attention from the limpness of lines such as Life travels faster than sound. Played out over this selection's nearly five-and-a-half-minute length, such shortcomings lend unintended significance to Astbury's mantra-like repetition of the coda: Say that it's over/So fuckin' over.

By John Jesitus (Westword Online)