In 1990 Echo & The Bunnymen resurfaced with a new lead singer and an album doomed for the cutout bin. Longtime fans were horrified, as was original vocalist Ian McCulloch’s ego. But that was the point, I think, as Mac and the other surviving members were not on the best of terms. So, if we start with the premise that the Reverberation album was a mistake, then it’s easier to judge. I was a pretty big Bunnymen fan, but curiosity got the best of me. I bought the record (sorry, Mac) and ended up listening to it a good bit. It doesn’t sound much like Echo & The Bunnymen, which only adds sense to the argument that should your band lose its lead singer CHANGE YOUR NAME IMMEDIATELY, but it has its moments. It mixed guitarist Will Sergeant’s penchant for psychedelic guitar lines with even more throwback psychedelia, which made the record ironically current amidst the burgeoning “baggy” Manchester scene of the time. The lyrics are a tad heavy-handed and sung that way by poor Noel Burke, who joins an uncomfortable list of unwelcome replacement singers led by Sammy Hagar, John Corabi, and Ian Astbury. Burke’s earnestness is quashed by the overwhelming shadow of McCulloch’s artful, irreplaceable swagger. I randomly stumbled on this video, which I had almost forgotten existed. Cursory re-listen doesn’t bode well for this era of the Bunnymen, but I’m willing to sit through the full set at least one more time.
RETRO: Echo & The Bunnymen “Enlighten Me” video
Posted May 19th, 2009 by Eric Greenwood · No Comments