This special edition of Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics’ debut album – ‘The Man with Stars on His Knees’ – comes out almost a year to the day after the original release and is in celebration of the band’s recent signing to LISTENABLE Records. There are a spate of bands and albums getting this treatment at the moment but rather than just churning out an exact copy to part you from your hard-earned cash, long term fans are actually being given a decent bonus.
If like me you were one of the many people who pledged or picked up a copy of the original release at one of the Cult Classics raucous live shows you may be asking ‘what’s in this for me?’ – well the answer is the addition of 2 new studio tracks “Undertow” and “Fire in the Fields of Mayhem” as well as 3 live tracks.
For those of you who are new to the phenomenon that is the Cult Classics, what you are getting is quite honestly one of the albums of 2018, superbly written and performed, from the opening chords of “Show Me What You’re Made Of” you’re taken on a journey through an eclectic sound mix of 90’s grunge with dark brooding riffs and anthemic choruses to the pop rock angst of Buchanan’s previous band Heaven’s Basement.
Stand out tracks are “Dancin’ Down Below”, which has a fantastic hook and rhythm that even the most sedate rock fan would struggle not to bounce along with, “The Man With Stars on His Knees”, allows Aaron to showcase his vocal ability on a song that has genuine heart, likewise the sublime “Morals?” Which again has an emotional depth to it that reminds me of songs like “Who Wants to Live Forever” by Queen.
Could be a contender for album of the year but even if it isn’t I very much doubt that you’ll see another band quite like them, worth listening to if only to give you a taste of what this band is really all about, it’s in the live arena where the Cult Classics truly come alive in all their crowd surfing, head standing glory.