In the Eighties, Echo and the Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch battled the Cure's Robert Smith for goth-doll dominance. But nobody could touch the Buns for glowering guitar grandeur. On their 12th LP, trademark psychedelic swirls and red-sunset strings sound like they're soundtracking a Western about a gunslinger in a Joy Division T-shirt, as McCulloch moans about doomed romance, decadence ("Grapes Upon the Vine") and emotional dissolution (the Phil Spector-steeped "Is This a Breakdown?"). Producer Youth helps balloon the intensity skyhigh, making McCulloch the Bono of spider-web bangs and black regret.
From The Archives Issue 1211: June 19, 2014