Classic. That's the word that fits this new Echo And The Bunnymen
release best. Classic and intimately familiar. Gone are the heavy
overtones left over from the Electrafixion days, making way
for the crisp, clean pop of the Bunnymen of yore. Siberia is
proof positive that not only have Ian McCulloch and Will
Sergeant been a very formative influence in many band's lives,
but that the old guys can rock just as hard as their protégés.
This record is filled with tracks that blur the lines that separate
tunes like "The Cutter" from the modern day.
"Stormy Weather" starts the album off with a throbbing
anthemic drive sitting tightly underneath Sergeant's trademark jangling
guitars. This track alone would dispel any thoughts that the Bunnymen
had somehow lost a bit of their shine. "All Because Of You
Days" shows just how much McCulloch and Sergeant can still
craft songs that are dynamic and powerful, while remaining well
within their own unique sound. Eerily similar to the greatest of
all Bunnymen songs ("Bring On The Dancing Horses"), "Parthenon
Drive" contains the same jangling guitars, lazily driving rhythm,
and strong vocal melodies, but offsets the easy feeling with a more
deliberate chorus - one filled with hints of distortion and drive,
culminating in a few seconds of aural mayhem in the bridge.
By the time the string section kicks in on "Everything Kills
You" it is hard to not have a sense of the age behind the songwriting
of McCulloch. There are songs on Siberia that deal with regret
and loss, the songwriter's show of maturity in some ways. These songs
are not laments for lost opportunities, however. They are merely moments
of introspection on how those pieces of learning have affected the
lives involved. There is a particular sadness to many of these songs.
But it is not a tearful sadness, but more a rainy-day-staring-out-the-window-and-daydreaming-about-what-might-have-been
kind of sadness. Nowhere is this dual-sided regret shown more solemnly
than on closing track "What If We Are?". One of the most
simplistically beautiful tracks on the record, the instrumentation
is mostly piano over strings with occasional percussion and guitar
that fleshes out the hopeful chorus and leads to the fuzzy guitar
solo that reassures us all that things will be all right in the end.
Shout it from the mountaintops, my friends
Echo And The Bunnymen
have never been better than they are right at this very moment.
This is a band at the top of its game, having weathered various
storms throughout the years and coming out stronger and more assured
in the end. Long may they rock!
1. Stormy Weather
2. All Because Of You Days
3. Parthenon Drive
4. In The Margins
5. Of A Life
6. Make Us Blind
7. Everything Kills You
9. Sideways Eight
10. Scissors In The Sand
11. What If We Are
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