ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN – “Porcupine” (Korova KODE 6) February 1983

This album is a blast from the past, during my late teens I bought a lot of Bunnymen records and saw them at Newcastle City Hall, but this is the first time I’ve ever sat down and listened to the album “Porcupine” because I never got around to buying it back then.

By 1983 I had been swept along on a wave of mid-sixties West Coast folk-rock and psychedelia from the likes of Love, The Byrds and The Turtles meaning modern groups like Echo & the Bunnymen were dropped like a hot potato.

I’m now willing to pick up anything remotely interesting from charity shops and I found “Porcupine” sitting on a shelf in my local British Heart Foundation. The asking price of £8 was a bit on the steep side but I dug deep into my pocket and paid the tallyman.

The singles “The Cutter” and “Back Of Love” stand out mainly because they’re semi-commercial with tunes and melody. The other numbers are dark and melancholic, dripping with sadness and discomfort. They’re a mixture of Joy Division meets The Doors but with stringed instruments.   

So rounding up the album after spending a couple of hours with it today – Ian McCulloch’s awkward one-dimensional singing soon gets tedious, the drumming is syncopated with the heavy bass bombs and the lead guitar really sparkles.

charity shop purchase @ £8

No great departure from previous Bunnymen strategy here, except in those instrumental interludes involving a tip of the turban towards The Mysterious East.

At heart this is simple music, gaining its brooding force from the sheer concentrated power generated by Mac’s warning voice as it looms through layers of guitars and purposeful percussion.

Already it’s starting to take a firm grip on the turntable. (Smash Hits)

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