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New Music: Echo & The Bunnymen - Meteorites
Album number 12 from Echo & The Bunnymen has arrived via the crowd-funding PledgeMusic.
Frontman Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant put their faith in their fans to make sure that Meteorites would fly. That faith has been repaid on an album laden with Bunnymen tropes.
The emotional huskiness of McCulloch's voice remains true on tracks like Burn It Down. Ditto, Sergeant's gleaming guitar work on the album's standout, Constantinople. Despite barely recording together, Meteorites is a polished, cohesive whole. It starts on a sombre note, with the funeral march of the title track's verses giving way to a widescreen chorus. Throughout, the production by Youth is sharp and, at times, glossy.
McCulloch has described this album as the worthy successor to their Eighties heyday of Crocodiles, Ocean Rain et al. Tracks like Grapes On The Vine and Lovers on the Run would sit comfortably on Ocean Rain. The tricky thing for the Bunnymen is that every album since their critical peak is judged against that zenith. So is Meteorites as good as Porcupines? Perhaps not, but it is a polished rock album from two geezers who still have the knack for making good music.
First published in INSIDER Magazine, exclusive to Thursday's Irish Independent