Echo and The Bunnymen
Reverberation


1.5
very poor

Review

by Tokyochuchu USER (40 Reviews)
December 30th, 2018 | 17 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Don't even bother.

After the relative commercial and critical failure of Echo & the Bunnymen's eponymous 1987 album (AKA The Grey Album), founding member and frontman Ian McCulloch duly departed to concentrate on his solo career. Shortly after that in 1989, The Bunnymen also suffered the tragic loss of their drummer Pete de Freitas via a horrific motorcycle accident. To all intents and purposes, the band really should have called it quits at that point. The remaining members had other ideas however, and instead recruited ex St. Vitus Dance singer Noel Burke to replace McCulloch as the Bunnymen's frontman.

It was a stupid idea. Echo & The Bunnymen sans Ian McCulloch just isn't Echo & the Bunnymen. He was absolutely vital to what the Bunnymen were, what they sounded like and the aura they exuded. As McCulloch later commented himself;

"I think it's pretty obvious what I think. Noel Burke... the name says it all really doesn't it. No, that's not fair. It wasn't his fault, it was Will and Pete who were the berks really. But no, I thought it was disgraceful and after that I suppose it was quite surprising that I continued working with Will after that. I'm glad I did though. Johnny Marr called them Echo and the Bogusmen when that happened."

Burke, for his part, wasn't a terrible singer. His technique was fine and his delivery also had it's own smooth charm. But it wasn't McCulloch and it wasn't Echo & the Bunnymen. Thus the resulting LP Reverberation was widely frowned upon and dismissed. These days it languishes forgotten and ignored. Reverberation is very much persona non grata in Bunnymen land.

The first few tracks on the album lull you into a false sense of security by actually being quite good. Openers 'Gone, Gone, Gone' and 'Enlighten Me' twist Will Sergeant's fetish for eastern guitar riffs into some interesting new shapes. Atmospheric album highlight 'King Of Your Castle' features a catchy vocal line wrapped around yet more of those delicious eastern squalls.

Unfortunately, the quality isn't maintained over the course of the record and it sharply drops into anodyne tedium. Through the majority of it's runtime, Reverberation sounds more like a poor imitation of '80s R.E.M than the fiery post-punk of yore. Again, that's a POOR imitation. This album is nowhere near the quality of anything R.E.M put out during the 1980s. Not even remotely. Songs like 'Devilment', 'Senseless' and 'Freaks Dwell' all jangle along in typical fashion without any particular flavour or hooks. They're utterly unmemorable and totally pointless.

The low point comes in the shape of the late album ballad 'Flaming Red'. It's a repellingly boring song, with a ceaseless vocal pattern that aims for brooding but hits queasily annoying instead. McCulloch must have rolled his eyes at that one. Add to that some really half-hearted instrumentation and you have something that begs to skipped rather than simply endured.

And that is exactly the right expression for this LP. Endured. Reverberation is an LP you have to endure rather than enjoy. There may be occasional flashes such as 'Enlighten Me' and 'King Of Your Castle', but this record is ultimately a complete waste of time. It has rightly found its place as the nadir of Echo & the Bunnymen's discography. So here's to Reverberation! Long may it be forgotten and ignored.



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user ratings (24)
Chart.
2.4
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
SandwichBubble
December 30th 2018


9614 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

With their last few records and whatever stars, ocean, and moon was, I don't think I can call this their worst anymore. But yeah, definitely their lowest point when it came out.

Tokyochuchu
December 30th 2018


95 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I take would Meteorites over this any day. The Fountain, on the other hand....

oWhoadYo
December 31st 2018


2220 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I have this on CD



I have never gotten past the first song

AgentDeathbat
December 31st 2018


9886 Comments


"I have never gotten past the first song"
Album Rating: 1.5
lol.

oWhoadYo
December 31st 2018


2220 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I think this is one album where this is fair. I'm a massive bunnymen fan, and this is just a travesty

AgentDeathbat
December 31st 2018


9886 Comments


Fair enough. I mean people gave me shit for 1'ing an album over one song in the past so I made it a point to not do that anymore so yeah

oWhoadYo
December 31st 2018


2220 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

as far as i can tell, this is the only album ive ever done this with. It's especially wrong if you rate an album you havent completely heard from a band you aren't familiar with. But if it is an album from a band you already know really well, maybe somehow that makes it more acceptable? Not sure, but this album is terrible. A buddy of mine and I listened to the first three tracks together one time when we were hanging out, but I've never been able to sit through it alone.

AgentDeathbat
December 31st 2018


9886 Comments


Yeah, I get what you mean lol. I've only heard Ocean Rain, I'll be sure to keep this in mind.

oWhoadYo
December 31st 2018


2220 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Ocean Rain is a jam

AgentDeathbat
December 31st 2018


9886 Comments


It really is, I guess I shouldn't expect that with this.

oWhoadYo
December 31st 2018


2220 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Dont really listen to anything outside of their first 5 albums, and if you do, be prepared. Their first 5 are all classics

AgentDeathbat
December 31st 2018


9886 Comments


Alright, that sounds like a plan.

Tokyochuchu
January 1st 2019


95 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'd make time for Siberia too. That's a great modern Echo & the Bunnymen album. But skip this turkey for sure.

oWhoadYo
January 2nd 2019


2220 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'll check out Siberia, then. Thanks for the heads up

AgentDeathbat
January 2nd 2019


9886 Comments


I might listen to this just out of morbid curiosity.
I have a tendency to not mind albums that get a ton of hate unless they're REALLY horrible.

oWhoadYo
January 2nd 2019


2220 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm with ya on that. Plenty of albums on here get destroyed but I like them. Mostly with some of The Smashing Pumpkins albums. But with this album, I just can't see the silver lining haha

AgentDeathbat
January 2nd 2019


9886 Comments


Yeah, it always seems like the ones I enjoy that get slammed are always getting 1.9/5 averages too.



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