Review Summary: An interesting album from an even more interesting band. Need proof? Just look at their name. It's the only reason you either stumbled across this review or even remembered these guys. No one really seems to care about them anymore, which is a shame.
2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Echo & The Bunnymen are most likely that band that you've heard of, but have never taken the chance to sit down and really give 'em a listen. Well that my friend is a mistake. The Bunnymen are an excellent group capable of quite a lot, and they show it on this record. Why didn't they explode onto the scene? Why don't more people acknowledge their music? Why are they lost forever in the chasm of 80's rock? Why am I asking you these questions? Some questions will forever go unanswered...
Anyways, Heaven Up Here is an exciting album to say the least. It all begins with album opener Show of Strength, a Bunnymen classic. The drums thump away at a steady beat while brilliantly panned guitars play around tediously with a hopping bass line. The song erupts into a groove like no other, guided by one of the best riffs the Bunnymen have ever crafted. Ian's voice comes off smooth as he takes the song around and through the usual Bunnymen steps. The song is extremely unique and catchy. It's Pop hook in the chorus aggressively grabs your attention and does not let go. It'll be stuck in your head, trust me. Almost every song here has an incredible swing and groove to it. The 4/4 beats get pushed to their limits in songs like "With a Hip" and "A Promise". With a Hip is possibly the most dance and radio friendly song here. Just because of it's infectiousness, don't think less of the song at all. It features extensive layering and some truly brilliant vocal melodies and build ups. The Chorus just pops in your face as the song reaches it highest point at the end.
Just like any other album from these guys, it of course features the experimentation. Whether it be in the form of the Vocal effects on "It Was A Pleasure", or the use of electronic percussion in "Over The Wall" and "Turquoise Days". It's here and it's done well. "Heaven Up Here" the song does come off as a bit obnoxious though. Ian's voice has some poorly placed reverb on it and he overuses his typical whailing voice. It is the only song on here that does overstay it's welcome. "The Disease" however is a nice break from the 4 minute or more, rocking songs. It brings something new to the album and it ends quickly, before it gives itself the oppurtunity to go stale.
The album reaches it's climax on track 8. "All My Colours" is a slow moving, beautifly depressing post-punk tack driven by a primal floor tom beat and Ian's Aching voice. Politely played guitars gently push the song into perfection. Dissonant chords strum out over the emotional wailings of Ian to create an atmosphere that goes unmatched on the album. The occasional Ebow finds it's way into the mix, whilst sustaining notes to match the vocal's pitch. The lyrics are also just excellent.
"What do you say
When your heart's in pieces?
How do you play
Those cards in sequence?
That box you gave me burned nicely"
Arguably Ian's greatest lyrics, they definitely direct the song into a more gothic direction. The song as a whole is reminiscent of The Cure's early work, most noteably "Pornography" or maybe even Joy Division's "Atmosphere". Speaking of Joy Division, the following track, "No Dark Things" has a very "Closer" Vibe to it. Well, the intro does. The riff works it's way around the bass in a dark and mysterious way leading into the excellent vocals. Another classic track.
The great thing about this album, is the consistency of quality despite the diversity of the songs. Each song has a uniue feel to it, yet they all are very enjoyable. Every song effortlessly gives off a strong atmosphere relative to the music and groove. It's definitely a grower, but it gives you one heck of ride on the first few listens. The songs dive and soar at unpedictable times, and emotions change drastically. Possibly because of the guitar and how it interacts differently in every song with the other instruments. Not to mention the production of the album is done well. Instruments pop out of different speakers at strange intervals but always at an appropriate time. I can see the album tiring out around track 8 or so for most listeners, but it really is a rewarding listen. If you haven't heard it, pick it up. You won't wanna miss it.
Top Tracks (In No Order):
No dark Things
Show Of Strength
All My Colours
With a Hip
Yeah! I really like it, the synth work is some of the best I've heard. Plus the guitar is completely unique. I've never heard anything like it in a post punk band. Although, I don't think it sounds like Pornography too much. Or even a little for that matter. But I've been listening to a ton of new music lately. Not the bunnymen, I've liked them for quite some time now. But I got The Jesus and Mary Chain's second album, Some Clan of Xymox, The Names, The Chameleons, Cocteau Twins and Ride.
I actually was gonna review that once I get more familiar with the album! So in a week or so I'll review Feeding The Flame. I'm gonna quit listening to Psychocandy and listen to it now actually. Also I've came to the conclusion once again, that nothing sounds like Pornography.
Glad you enjoyed the album dude and I'm glad your branching off into other post-punk acts, as well as some darkwave and dream pop. I was never really a fan of TJAMC second album, because I felt as if they abandoned everything that made them so great on their debut for something not so great. Clan of Xymox is pretty awesome too, love the Sisters of Mercy vibes they have going on associated with them. The Chameleons (aside from Joy Division) are probably my favorite post-punk act SOUUUUL INNNN ISOLATIIIOON!!!!
Also, if your looking for something similar to Pornography though, check out this band called "And Also the Trees" they have some dark vibes going on so I think you will enjoy it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BZrkBfkh6w
Ya, I've always really liked Post-Punk and Dream Pop. I see what you mean about Darklands, but these songs here are so catchy, so it's still enjoyable for me. But Psycho had that loud headache inducing feedbacking guitar that made them rule so hard so it's hard to part with it. The Chameleons do sound pretty good, but I've only heard them a couple times though. A bit underwhelming. The Cure is my favorite post punk band (Obviously) followed by Possibly Joy Division, Echo or The Smiths.
I checked out that song. First thing I realized is that the drum beat is extremely similar to "A Strange Day" and "A Short Term Effect", so it's clearly Cure influenced. It's pretty good, quite reminiscent of Pornography. Even though he's yelling and the music is intense, it still doesn't hit as hard as Pornography. I'm not sure what it is. That album just has something so dark a depressing surrounding that it just makes it so surreal. I'll look into And Also The Trees though, I liked what I heard. It was damn near industrial.
I read further about And Also The Trees. No wonder why that sounded like the Cure. They are as close you can get to The Cure without actually being the Cure. Robert Smith Co produced some of their demos and Lol Tolhurst Produced their debut album, witch contained the song you sent me. That's pretty cool.
Yes, the thing I've always liked about post-punk music is the way the drums and bass are incorporated into the music. It just puts me in a hypnotic sway that I can't escape from nor would I ever want to.
I agree. Post Punk utilizes the bass more than any other genre. plus post punk also shows strong songwriting skills and creativity. Plus, I think it is the most sincere, heartfelt, honest, emotional, happy, depressing and beautiful music ever made. Nothing sounds quite like it. Just look How Joy Division, New Order and The Cure use the bass. Who does that? Even to this day No one does that. I think that no one can do it better than Simon Gallup and Peter Hooke.
I have to agree with Robert Smith being a god. A true musical genius, that we are all lucky enough to listen to his art. Truly unbelievable talent with that man. Even he, himself broke boundaries. His fashion is still land-marked and looked up to in a cultural iconic manner. I believe for Alternative music The three total music geniuses are Robert Smith, Billy Corgan and David Bowie. Those three are just exceptional artists, always pushing boundaries.
Yea, I mean if you take a look at Seventeen Seconds or Faith the first thing that jumps of the page is THE BASS. Simon Gallup had his own style that has never been replicated of his exact measurements to this very day. Also, I always thought it was funny that Hook developed his own style because Summer's guitar was too fucking loud and he had to play the higher notes up on the bass (which in turn developed that classic post-punk sound)
Definitely, the bass line in Secrets remains as one of my favorites. Really every song from that album has this awesome bass line that just drives the song. The Bass line to open Faith is so evil, plus he adds so much flange on it. Why don't people do that anymore? It sounds so awesome.
Haha really? I did not know that about Hooke. That's pretty awesome. I personally like His New Order Bass more, but as a whole, Joy Division Was better. But not by a lot.She's Lost Control, Twenty Four Hours, A Means To An End, Transmission and Love Will Tear Us Apart are such amazing bass lines.