Blue Öyster Cult

Blue Öyster Cult

Heaven Forbid

CMC

What the Hell. If CMC can retread all of your favorites (?) from the late 80’s hair metal abyss, why not go even deeper with Blue Öyster Cult, whose roots go back to the late ’60s as of one Elektra’s flagship rock artists. (The other band was west coast counterparts, The Doors). The Stalk Forest Group-cum-Soft White Underbelly recorded barely-known albums that brilliantly paid homage to the groovy aesthetic without sucking up to some half-asssed utopian zeitgeist. Re-emerging as Blue Öyster Cult on Columbia in the ’70s, albums like Agents of Fortune, Secret Treaties, and their classic debut simultaneously harbored an intensity and intellect that metal also-rans ten years later could not even comprehend, let alone emulate. It’s silly to think that this record could come close to matching that era — and it does not. The absence of the brothers Bouchard makes this album automatic second-tier nostalgia. Still, the vocals of Eric Bloom on “I’d Like To See You In Black” do justice to the typically skewed BOC lyrics. (“… It’d make me feel like your husband is dead.”) Closing cut “In Thee” is an acoustic set live-take on keyboardist Allen Lanier’s contribution to 1979’s Mirrors. Despite the polish that the disco era had on bands like Blue Öyster Cult, “In Thee” was and is a perfect vehicle for Buck Dharma’s vocals and guitars. In between you get mostly passable fare like “Harvest Moon” and “Power Underneath Despair.” Bloom, Lanier, and Dharma have been at this for well over a quarter of a century, and yes, there are points for trying. And if this is an excuse to keep `em on the road, like I said: What the Hell. CMC International, 106 W. Horton St., Zebulon, NC 27597

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