REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Psychedelic shoegazers Echo &The Bunnymen release astonishing new album, Meteorites

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Scouse-formed rock band, Echo & The Bunnymen (EATB), have been a critically acclaim cult group since the 80s. They reformed in earnest in 1997, after a 9 year hiatus following the tragic death of drummer Pete de Freitas and the exit of singer Ian McCulloch. Now releasing their twelfth studio album Meteorites, the band once again prove that they haven't lost the Killing Moon or Porcupine spirit that propelled them to success.

Echo-and-the-Bunnymen-Meteorites Co releasing single Lovers On The Run with the album on 26 May on 429 Records/Caroline, it's their first release in five year. And the album ignites and refreshes shoegaze as a genre and puts EATB into the consciousness of the new fan base. The presser says this: Meteorites sounds like an exhilarating renaissance, an intricately crafted work with a poetic brilliance and emotional grandeur that places it on a par with the Bunnymen’s greatest records from the ‘80s and ‘90s. But for all the classic Bunnymen hallmarks – McCulloch’s aching, velvety tenor, Sergeant’s shimmering guitar work - the new album’s most striking feature is its unprecedented and startling lyrical candour. Deeply personal and subtly revelatory, it sees McCulloch finally facing up to his demons with an honesty that his previous records, however emotionally raw, have invariably shied away from. “For me, this is a whole new approach. It’s more edgy than anything I’ve ever done,” says McCulloch. “I’m dealing with something on this record I didn’t want to deal with for a long time.” And I couldn't have put it better myself. Not like your usual smoke-blowing trite you normally get, it's absolutely on the money. The opening title track Meteorites immediately brought me out in goosebumps, from that soundscape, wah-wah guitar to the weeping strings and atmospheric rhythm guitar. McCulloch's vocals are perfect for a song about hopelessness. I'm loving this and hit the repeat button. Second track Holy Moses sees a change in pace and direction for EATB. It has a distinct happy-clappy, pop feel to it. Constantinople does have an ecclesiastical, eastern sound to it. Perfect for a track named after Christianity's birthplace. It's 80s psychedelia at it's best. Is This A Breakdown sounds like a very happy Franz Ferdinand type song with very dark lyrics (as it's title suggest) and it reflects the juxtaposition of wrestling with depression. Grapes Upon The Vine is back to classic EATB form. More downcast, but exceptionally beautiful. Lovers On The Run is the first single and sixth on the album. I can understand why it's a single, it's the stand-out track of the album. It marks an evolution for EATB, but is still true to form. BBC 6Music will love this and play the fuck out of it. Burn It Down slows down the tempo. This is very 80s and EATB. It melancholic tones and ballad beat combine to become quite an evocative track. Explosions isn't an Ellie Goulding cover, it's far more edgier than that. This track is more positive than the previous tracks. And again is more poppy and mainstream. Dare I say it, a bit Feeder like (PS, I love Feeder). Market Town is bluesy and contemporary until the juvenile vocals kick in. For me this track is a bit Marmite. New Horizons is modern shoegaze at it's best. This is another one of my favourites on the album and great ending to a phenomenal album. EATB are touring through May to promote the album and hopefully they'll be the opportunity to see them live post release. As they are the most underrated genius bands to ever have come out of the UK. 9 out of 10