Echo and The Bunnymen
Ocean Rain


4.5
superb

Review

by The Katz brothers USER (183 Reviews)
August 8th, 2007 | 41 replies | 14,475 views


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An 80's Post-Punk classic from Liverpool's second biggest band.

Echo and the Bunnymen seem to have a knack for picking out relatively brilliant cover art. While their major label debut, Echo and the Bunnymen , may be nothing worth calling home about, all of its predecessors have had brilliant art. The warm colors of Crocodile , the bleak beauty of Porcupine , even their first compilation album, Songs to Learn and Sing (first Jungler review, by the way), features an album cover as brilliant as the majority of the songs. Ocean Rain , with its instantly recognizable ‘small boat in a big cave’ cover, is hardly any different.

And it’s hard to dispute the fact that the quality of Ocean Rain’s songs match up to that of its art. After all, Ocean did birth The Killing Moon , quite possibly one of the greatest Post-Punk songs ever recorded, though most may only remember the track because Jake Gyllenhaal rides his bike to it. And I really haven’t the slightest idea why Echo and the Bunnymen aren’t as massively popular (or as legendary) as some of their contemporaries. Many of the tracks on Ocean Rain are perfect singles, capable of becoming huge hits as well as captivating any fan of Indie music. Crystal Days and Seven Seas , specifically, have about as much mainstream potential as anything ever released in the 1980’s (possible exception: a-ha’s Take On Me ).

Of all the seminal Goth/Post-Punk vocalists, Ian McCulloch may be my favorite. McCulloch is not nearly as monotone as [Joy Division frontman] Ian Curtis nor as flamboyant as Robert Smith, of The Cure fame, sounding more like a perfect balance between the two. His limited range (maybe not so limited, as he gets pretty damn high towards the end of Killing Moon) showcases more than enough emotion, working particularly well on songs like Nocturnal Me , amidst dark, yet pronounced strings and the 80’s scene’s trademark chorus-tinged guitar tone. His voice is oddly confident and intense while switching notes during the chorus, a refrain of take me internally/forever yours/nocturnal me , despite the lyrics themselves being far from confident.

Musically, Echo seem to have taken Joy Division’s (a band widely considered to be the first Post-Punk act) bass heavy, ultra dark format and brought it to the next step. The Bunnymen add some new instruments, make the general sound more guitar-heavy (a good thing, considering Will Sergeant, Bunnymen guitarist, is quite good at what he does) and, all in all, further the sound to a much more accessible, yet still far from cheery, place. Either way, Echo are undoubtedly birthed from the same scene and Ocean Rain could easily please any fan of Post-Punk’s other leading groups, from The Cure to Depeche Mode to The Smiths or even one of the new fangled Post-Punk revival bands (i.e. Interpol, Editors). This is, after all, a damn good album, that gets better with every listen.

-Dan



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user ratings (209)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Zebra
Moderator
August 8th 2007



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nocturnal Me and Seven Seas are my favorites. This is a must have for any fan of post-punk, I agree with just about everything you stated in the review.

descendents1
August 8th 2007



702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this more than their other stuff. The review sums it up pretty well, and it is a shame it's not more known.

Apocalyptic Raids
August 8th 2007



810 Comments


There are always Echo and The Bunnymen albums at my library. I should check them out sometime.

Kaleid
August 8th 2007



709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I liked Songs to Learn and Sing, but this is definitive

TheStarclassicTreatment
August 9th 2007



2909 Comments


Ugh, I saw these guys live recently, I didn't like them in the first place, but the crowd parted like the red sea, so they must have been that bad to everyone else as well.

The Jungler
August 9th 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=plath]I like Heaven Up Here better, but mostly I prefer the more upbeat (musically) groups of the era like the Smiths and Aztec Camera.[/quote]Really? I thought Heaven Up Here was way more inaccessible than this. I guess it is a bit more upbeat though.

MrKite
August 11th 2007



5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm not far into this, but I'm confident that I'll like it. I was hoping for an album that didn't take work to get into and that's what I've got.

Surfmonkey
October 1st 2007



5 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The first four albums are really where The Bunnymen begin and end. Of the first four, Ocean Rain is the weakest entry. You want REAL Bunnymen? Get Heaven Up Here. By the time they get to Ocean Rain it's already become the Ian show. It's all downhill from here.

jrowa001
November 30th 2007



8749 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i love this album, i need to get their previous albums since this is the only one i have

MrKite
November 30th 2007



5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nocturnal Me got stuck in my head out of nowhere today in math class. I haven't even heard it for about three months.

jrowa001
November 30th 2007



8749 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

that song is pretty damn catchy

Spamwise
October 28th 2008



87 Comments


I love "The Killing Moon" off of this. It just gives me chills whenever I listen to it. I can't get into anything else on this album, though. Do they have any other songs like that on any of their older material? This Message Edited On 10.28.08

fireaboveicebelow
October 28th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you could check out Show Of Strength off Heaven Up Here, or maybe My White Devil off Porcupine...or even Pictures On My Wall off Crocodiles...yeah that song's pretty unique for them

Jim
December 22nd 2008



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i've been seriously meaning to get this album. the clip for the killing moon came on early morning TV once and i just stopped and listened

Roach
November 25th 2009



2149 Comments


[love]

Jips
November 25th 2009



1127 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yo tambien...


xfearbefore
October 2nd 2010



1196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. "The Killing Moon" is a serious candidate for Greatest Song Ever.

Digging: Placebo - Sleeping With Ghosts

SCREAMorphine
October 13th 2010



1704 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Only ever heard The Killing Moon, really want to check out this band

bab808
October 24th 2010



456 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thorn of crowns is a cool song

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2011



14884 Comments


pretty boring



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