The Southern Death Cult - The Southern Death Cult (1988 )
Formed in Bradford, England, in 1981 by Ian Astbury, Southern Death Cult was the first incarnation of the group that would achieve international fame as the Cult by the late '80s. This posthumous album compiles tracks from Southern Death Cult's only release (the 1982 Fatman/Moya EP) alongside radio-session and live versions of numbers that would probably have featured on the group's never-recorded first album. (Astbury broke up the band in 1983 and promptly formed another group under the abbreviated name Death Cult -- eventually just the Cult -- with new members including Theatre of Hate guitarist Billy Duffy.)
All the signature elements of the Cult's eventual sonic formula can be heard, albeit in embryonic form and on rougher, less memorable songs: piercing, jangling guitars; driving, tribal rhythms; and Astbury's distinctive, dramatic vocal style. Southern Death Cult's finest achievements were undoubtedly the charging, anti-capitalist tirade "Fatman" and the ominous, anthemic "Moya," on which Astbury denounces U.S. culture and expresses solidarity with Native Americans. That lyrical focus on Native American themes, also evident on less compelling songs like "Apache", would prove to be a recurring concern of Astbury's subsequent work.
The album provides an interesting sampling of the band's sound in its formative stages and, moreover, captures the raw and hungry post-punk energy of Ian Astbury's first musical venture
This is an expanded CD of the earlier vinyl release by Beggar’s Banquet of various recordings by Southern Death Cult during their brief but beautiful career.