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Album Review

Shortly after the breakup of the Cult, frontman Ian Astbury formed the band Holy Barbarians. Joining him for the band's first release, Cream, was Scott Garrett, who had drummed in the final incarnation of the Cult. Produced by Astbury and Matt Hyde, the album doesn't deviate too far from the previous sound. Unfortunately, the band definitely suffers from the absence of Billy Duffy to serve as Astbury's sonic foil. Guitarist Patrick Sugg is a melodic player, but his understated playing only makes Astbury's lyrics seem even more pretentious. Much of the album is mid-tempo, psychedelic-tinged groove rock. "Brother Fights" is a keeper, with Sugg's fluid guitar work, and "Bodhisattva" features some buzz-saw guitar and Eastern rhythms. "Opium" is Cream's standout track, with some lonely, twang guitar and a hypnotic rhythm. Nothing here is as memorable as Astbury's work with his previous band and this album is mostly of interest only to those hardcore Cult fans.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

Although the Cult enjoyed huge commercial success after relocating to the west coast of America, by the mid-90s they were facing artistic stalemate. The Holy Barbarians, led by Cult singer Ian Astbury (b. 14 May 1962, Heswall, Cheshire, England), were inaugurated because, ‘I guess I just wanted to go home’. Keen to find fresh, enthusiastic musicians with which to work, he recruited Patrick Sugg (guitar/vocals) from Los Angeles punk band Lucifer Wong. Together they demoed songs in his Los Angeles...
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Top Albums and Songs by Holy Barbarians

Cream, Holy Barbarians
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Contemporaries