Monday, August 15, 2005

New Echo and the Bunnymen

According to, Ian McCullough is proud of the new Echo and the Bunnymen record, "Siberia":

"It's a masterpiece!" McCulloch says of the new Bunnymen effort, slated for release September 20th. "It's not supposed to happen to a band at this point, but it's the most complete album we've ever made." McCulloch isn't alone in that opinion. Producer Hugh Jones, who worked on the Liverpool group's 1981 sophomore set, Heaven Up Here, as well as recordings by the Teardrop Explodes, Simple Minds and Del Amitri, calls Siberia the best work he's ever done.

Recalling both the post-punk psychedelia of the Bunnymen's influential debut, Crocodiles, and the dramatic Euro-balladry of 1984's Ocean Rain, the new album "is everything I need to say, lyrically and melodically," McCulloch explains, "and everything [guitarist] Will [Sergeant] needs to do, as well."

After hearing Sergeant instantly craft the guitar riff for "Everything Kills You," a soaring track McCulloch calls "the most crystalized, pure Bunnymen moment since 'The Killing Moon,'" the singer says his appreciation of the partnership deepened. "I hate him for it, because I'm like, 'It took me two years to come up with this, and you just pop in and do your bit!'" McCulloch says. "But that's why Will's so great."

The duo's differences have also been resolved by the sense that the Bunnymen are a band once again. Bassist Pete Wilkinson and drummer Simon Finley, who have been touring with the group and appeared on McCulloch's 2003 solo outing, Slideling, both play significant roles on the new album. "It's like we're a really great football team," McCulloch says.

...In November, after they tour the U.K., the Bunnymen will come to the U.S., and McCulloch is eager to play the new album live. "It makes you cry, it makes you tap your toes, it makes you wanna break a chair over someone's head," he says. "People can't ask for more."
All of this sounds like an Advanced artist talking (especially the boasting and the football-team quote), but Echo and the Bunnymen just don't quite cut it. They just weren't good or influential enough to be worthy of Advanced status. But I still love "Lips Like Sugar."


Anonymous said...

I don't know now.... Just because all the new bands cite Gang of Four or The Cure among their influences but not the Bunnymen doesn't mean the Bunnymen aren't important. As a matter of fact Courtney Love and Steven Malkmus both cite the Bunnymen as influences. Malkmus just said he was too ashamed to admit it at the time. Seems like to be advanced you have to reach some sort of abstracted cult status first in order to exert influence, and only then can you depart from that status and be "advanced." Would you say that the Feelies were more influential/greater than the Bunnymen?

Jason Hartley said...

I would say the Feelies were better but not more influential. Maybe I'll try to listen to more Echo and the Bunnymen to see what I may have missed. Thanks for the input.

Anonymous said...

What bands did The Cure influence compared to the Bunnymen?! Pavement, perhaps the kings of Indie rock, wouldn't have sounded like they did if it weren't for the Bunnymen, the same goes for the Flaming Lips, another band that critics just can't get enough of. Spiral Stairs aka Scott Kannenberg, the guitarist from Pavement is even in a Bunnymen tribute band that just plays Bunnymen songs live! The Bunnymen are legends and deserve a little more respect.

Tom Burg said...

First of all, my contention about bands is to size up their best 12 songs and look at em that way.

Echo and the Bunnymen are in the premiere league if you will by that comparison. And Killing Moon is arguably the best song ever written.

Lastly, I have NEVER heard an album by supposed geezers like this that was as full of energy and freshness. Not U2, not the Cure, not Midnight Oil, noone.