“There are not many singers who can match Ian Astbury’s vocal strengths. He of growling baritone and masterful wail; of masculine power and viscous vibrato. At a time when the charts preferred their rock singers screeching in a ball-squeezing falsetto, his distinctive croon was a deep and resonating departure from the norm.”
“….the history of the Batcave club, the so-called birthplace of the goth movement and a regular hang out for the young Ian Astbury, Nick Cave, Lydia Lunch and a whole host of other enigmatic figures who were part of the dark aesthetic of the early 80s. David J of Bauhaus had some particularly enlightening things to say about the movement. Especially given his band’s initial hatred of the label, it was fascinating to hear about the underlying aspects of the subculture that even he was able to respect so many years later. “The thing that runs through it still is the essential romantic impulse – that dark, romantic impulse.” Although specifically referring to the movement that erupted from the Batcave, this can be equally applied to the early influences of goth music. In particular, The Doors influenced most of the darker post punk bands including Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees. For that time in the late 60s, it was this permeating dark romantic quality that set The Doors apart from all of their contemporaries. Jim Morrison was obviously a preacher of the darker side of romance and Ian Astbury was one of his disciples. Upon hearing ‘The End’ while watching Apocalypse Now! as a teen, Astbury was struck on a spiritual level and would consistently channel Morrison’s brooding charisma in live performance and on record throughout his career. It didn’t hurt that he more than slightly resembled the Lizard King.
Carrying that admiration, Astbury easily fitted into the post-punk/goth scene oozing out of Britain’s underground clubs and found a great foil in Duffy, the Manc who had already played a role in the formation of The Smiths. Together they built a sound that quickly began evolving, from post punk, to psychedelia and finally to hard rock (thanks to the coaxing of producer Rick Rubin during the making of Electric). ……the album harkened a fascinating and potentially surprising new step for the band. Despite slotting neatly into a very of-the-time trend at its inception, The Cult began moving backwards in influence with Electric, arguably becoming more true to their roots….”
- THE QUIETUS