Echo and the Bunnymen -Meteorites

Echo and the Bunnymen -Meteorites

Pick up a copy of the latest issue of Mojo – the one with the Zep on the cover – and inside you’ll find a thoughtful and quite beautiful celebration of Pete de Freitas, the 25th anniversary of whose passing is next month. A unique character who managed to side step the petty rivalries that divided Echo & The Bunnymen, the Teardrops and Drummond and someone who unified the spirit of the band who when without went amiss and after whose sad demise somehow with him took that essence and that mystique that set the Bunnymen apart from their peers. There’s no denying that without him the Bunnymen have been a distant shadow of their former selves.

Coincidence then or a strange quirk of fate that ’Meteorites’ appears in Pete’s anniversary month and finds the Bunnymen almost reclaiming the mojo they’ve seemingly lost for such an age.

Evidence of such has come via the online previewing of ‘Market Town’ and the current single ‘Lovers on the Run’ – the former a seven minute nugget replete with some nifty kaleidoscopic riffage that veers into the soft psych quadrants of Slipstream, My Jealous God and Fuxa albeit as though stirred through the trippy pre brit pop post baggy visors of the Paris Angels. The latter of course prime time Bunnymen time tunnelling to surface somewhere around ‘87 and ticking all the boxes on the cherry picking list – here you get Mac in full smoking croon, Will applying honeycombing 60’s motifs whose Venetian swirls nod to John Barry, the rest just mercurial pop done to elegant cool.

So far so good, but is this all smoke and mirrors and does the rest of the set substantiate claims to be a return to form. Yes and no I’d have to say, there’s no denying that ‘Meteorites’ is an ’echo’ to former glories, disappointingly it offers no surprises or departures, if I’m honest outside of die hard Bunny fans it’ll struggle to make end of year lists and will no doubt be forgotten by many the minute Mac’s parting croon fades into the ether.

However its not all doom and gloom, with Youth on the decks you suspect there’s been a sense of quality control at play here, the production slick and symphonic hones in on the grandeur aspect of Will and Mac’s chemistry, the latter seemingly reigned in and stripped of his aloofness whilst the former allowed to express his nimble psychedelic signatures to wider effect. At its worst ‘Meteorites’ is the Bunnymen by numbers, both ‘Holy Moses’ and ‘Is this a Breakdown’ are to all intents and purposes served up on cruise control. That said gorgeously wrapped in the head swirling sultry tasting of smoked out arabesque signatures ‘Constantinople’ freefalls into ‘Porcupine’ territories while the ghosts of ‘Ocean Rain’ clearly haunt the shadowy lines of ‘Grapes upon the Vine’s’ free-forming symphonic soul pop. Elsewhere the shimmering ‘Explosions’ is indelibly dinked in a mercurial pop craft that’s undeniably the Bunnies own trademark. That said its left to the brace of tracks book ending ’Meteorites’ that serve as the sets best moments.

The parting ’New Horizons’ is turned into a reflective confessional aura speared sumptuously to a softly unfurling redemptive shelling cowed in the realisation of ones frailty all haloed in purring symphonic swathes. However for us best moment without question is the divinely ached ‘Meteorites’ which opens the albums account, ripped in a head bowed forlorn gravitas, there’s something tenderly tearful and crushed about this emotional epic, the way it rises genuflecting and trip wired in a vapour trailed euphoria jettisoned upon Barrett Floydian psych flights only to surrender, lick its wounds and regroup is simply a class apart.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.