December 24, 2016

Echo & The Bunnymen - Porcupine (1983)

Porcupine is Echo & The Bunnymen's third album and it features the group's further ventures into lavish neo-psychedelia arrangements. The songs are deep, rhythmic, and ethereal; straddling gothic rock and jangle pop in their inimitable brand of post-punk. Ian McCulloch's writing and singing is as dramatic and gloomy as ever and is what steered this classic 80s group deeper into fun and flamboyant displays of psychedelia. It seems that the more this group experimented past the straight-up jangly post-punk sounds of their first album the more they influenced the rock bands who followed them. I'm not an expert at rock styles, but it sounds to me that 90s neo-psychedelia bands like Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips as well as the first-generation post-rock groups took influence from Echo & The Bunnymen. Porcupine is hindered a bit by its bulky duration, but there are definitely pick-me-ups placed along the way such as the B-side highlight, Heads Will Roll. While I prefer the broken base Ocean Rain to this album for its iconic melodies and more appropriate runtime, the more level-headed and less indulgent Porcupine might be a good first listening experience for anyone who hasn't heard this group.