Since returning from a seven-year break in 1997, Echo & The Bunnymen have put out an impressive string of albums. And while none of them quite captured the band’s early magic, no one expected them to.
Vocalist-guitarist Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant are the only two remaining original members (drummer Pete de Freitas died in a motorcycle accident in 1989, and bassist Les Pattinson left after 1997’s comeback album Evergreen), and they do a good job of giving their latest, Meteorites, a familiar feel without simply aping themselves.
As a whole, the record is damn good—as good, and probably better, than what most bands attempting to echo what the Bunnymen are doing. The opening title track simmers without really going anywhere, but it’s immediately met with the stingy “Holy Moses.” “Lovers On the Run” comes close to that intensity, and “Market Town” is a seven-minute thrill, but you might find yourself waiting for more of those songs and never quite getting them. But the songs in between like “Is This a Breakdown?” and “Burn It Down” provide their own kind of ear candy thanks to the production of British legend Youth, who creates a womb-like comfort throughout.
Comfy isn’t always what you want, though. And while Meteorites walks that line, we can at least take comfort in the fact that McCulloch and Sergeant are still doing it, and doing it well.