ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN: Siberia: CD

I played “Stormy Weather” for my wife this morning and she commented that she liked this because it didn’t sound like them. True, it does not sound dated, but it still maintains the Echo “sound.” Will Sergeant cranks up the melodic guitar fills as Ian McCulloch croons, “You want it you got it/there’s nothing chained down/you need it/I’ll steal it.” “Parthenon Drive” could easily be the band’s next Lips Like Sugar.” It even features some bubbly bass lines reminiscent of their earlier work. This may be due to the fact that they have Hugh Jones (Dumptruck, Modern English) back behind the boards for the first time since Heaven up Here. “Of a Life” is one of the more rocking songs as McCulloch sings, “I want a song to learn and sing/of a life requited.” “Everything Kills You” is a stellar track. Multiple textures are brought out by the layered guitar parts and you know you’re in the middle of a classic Bunnymen album. The title track offer up a bossa nova vibe that makes Siberia sound like a warm, inviting place. Go figure. The darkest tune on here is “Scissors in the Sand.” I have no idea what lines like “my silverfishing youth/swim don’t crawl” means, but the song flat-out rocks anyway. Siberia is a sonic masterpiece that proves that a band’s perspective can improve with age. Persistence pays off and this blows some other recent releases by their contemporaries to tattered bits. Incredible from end to end; Echo and The Bunnymen will warm your soul again if you let them in from the cold. -Sean Koepenick

 –guest (Cooking Vinyl)