(Showbox at the Market) From 1980’s Crocodiles to 1985’s Bring on the Dancing Horses 12-inch, Liverpool’s Echo & the Bunnymen were one of the world’s greatest rock groups (the greatest, if you believed charismatic, Leonard Cohen–loving singer Ian McCulloch). In that time span, the Bunnymen’s psychedelia became increasingly baroque and beautiful, and their lyrics increasingly cryptic, culminating in the orchestra-enhanced 1984 masterpiece Ocean Rain. Since the mid ’80s, they’ve written some decent songs, but nothing that’s achieved the vertiginous brilliance of that first half-decade’s output. So how’s the new, 12th Echo album, Meteorites? Eh, it’s a solid sunset-of-their-years effort, much better than expected for a 36-year-old band. They still can knock out a grandiose melody that sweeps away all of your cares and McCulloch’s voice has aged well for a guy whose alcohol intake has been prodigious. He can still hit those achingly wistful and lushly lugubrious notes, and Will Sergeant’s guitar is as lovely and lively as ever.
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