eMusic Review 0
Which Stills have we got this time? The exciting chaps from Logic Will Break Your Heart or the trundling MOR balladeers who showed up for Without Feathers?
Fortunately, the onyx sheen of Oceans Will Rise makes it clear that the Echo & the Bunnymen spectre that haunted the group's debut is back. In fact, it's the tracks casting a nod towards other fine moments in '80s art-gloom — the Comsat Angels, the Sound etc. — that are the most rewarding. Crucially, these are also the songs on which a few risks have been taken — injecting enough uncertainty and flair to ensure they don't come off like soft facsimiles. "Rooibos/Palm Wine Drunkard" stands out; balancing updated spaghetti-western riffs and flurries of distortion with a gentle keyboard coda. And in terms of sheer portentous unease, the dry-gulch rattle and rhythm of "Snakecharming the Masses" takes the prize.
At times, the production becomes intrusive. Single "Being Here" suffers from overly slick edges, as well as the kind of ultra-safe, anthemic chorus now rendered lifeless by serial overuse. "I'm With You," however, shows that a more expansive sound can be successfully tamed. Despite more than a hint of U2, it's a sweeter, subtler… read more »