The Cult is incredibly flexible band. They went through numerous stylistic changes and it never seemed to be forced - their sound naturally evolved. You can hear glimpses of what to come on each of their album. They went from goth rock greasers to post-punk outfit to hard rock hustlers to cock rock hellraisers to alt-rock zealots - and every time they manage to deliver something special. It is true - they are consistently great (even their lesser albums contain great songs).
"The Witch" is a special song in their catalogue. It comes from their murkier days - it came out n 1992 right after lackluster 1991 Ceremony album before the 1994 u-turn Black Sheep album. It appeared on the soundtrack for Ralph Bakshi' unfortunate trainwreck of a film Cool World where it got lost in the shuffle. It was produced by Rick Rubin (who also produced bands 1987 smash hit Electric) who brought his kind of flavor to the swagger.
Stylistically it leans toward then-current trends - house music and hip-hop. Astbury steps away from his usual singing style and delivers more sprachtgesung kind of performance. There is also a Primal Scream influence is all over the song - mainly through beats and strategically placed guitar hooks (i think Primal Scream should cover this song) - however it is unmistakably The Cult song.
There are several versions available. I've included the official versions and two earlier versions.
This is the version most are familiar with. Heavily distorted bass riff taped together with steady laidback looped drum line and sleazy guitar parts. The groove is great - it can go on forever and you'll be OK with that.
This is an earlier version. It may seems strange but you can hear glimpses of their later developments as presented in The Cults 1994 album and Astbury's next band Holy Barbarians. It has more relaxed drums and a lot busier guitar lines (Billy Duffy delivers inventive and fluid performance), however the bass pushed boiling to the background - such combo that makes rather intense groove.
This is another early version. It's a bit rougher than the previous. Drums are intense stomper and guitar is a raw sludge (Billy Duffy gives'em hell). It feels more in line with the style of their then-latest album Ceremony if it was up the snuff.