x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Album review: Echo & the Bunnymen – Meteorites

In their 12th studio album, Will Sergeant’s delicious guitar licks and Ian McCulloch’s plaintive voice land a succession of punches.

Echo & the Bunnymen Meteorites (429 Records)

Three stars

In their mid-1980s pomp, Echo & the Bunnymen were once tipped to be the biggest band in the world or, at the very least, bigger than U2. By the decade’s end, Bono and Co’s career had taken flight while the Bunnymen had disintegrated amid acrimony and tragedy after the singer Ian McCulloch left to pursue a solo career and the drummer Pete de Freitas died in a motorcycle crash.

A late 1990s revival followed and the Bunnymen have released an album every few years since, all the while struggling to recapture the form of their fertile early years.

Now they’re back with Meteorites, their 12th studio album. The album begins with the atmospheric sound of what proves to be an ultimately unfulfilling title track, but the Bunnymen begin to hit their straps soon afterwards.

Will Sergeant’s delicious guitar licks and McCulloch’s plaintive voice have always been exquisitely matched and the pair land a succession of punches with the rhythmic tones of Is This a Breakdown, the haunting Lovers on the Run and the anthemic Burn It Down. It’s not as good as the Bunnymen were in their heyday, but it’s not bad all the same.

nmarch@thenational.ae