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Killing Moon
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  • Liverpool's Echo & the Bunnymen famously carved an evocative and moody post-punk path through the '80s. Led by literate, Fraggle-headed baritone Ian McCulloch, the Bunnymen set themselves apart from their similarly kohl-eyed and trenchcoat-wearing contemporaries with a sound that balanced cool goth theatrics with a '60s-style psychedelia and a deliciously grandiose sense for traditionalist pop songcraft. Essentially, they bridged the gap between bands like the Beatles, the Doors, the Cure, and Bauhaus. They also weren't afraid of producing a nice hooky tune, as evidenced by the 2017 collection The Killing Moon: The Singles 1980-1990. Buoyed by McCulloch's burnished, somewhat cheeky croon and lyrics rife with wit and poetic irony, the Bunnymen landed a handful of memorable hits over their initial ten-year run. Here we get cuts like the orchestral-steeped "The Killing Moon" and sparkling "Silver," both off the group's 1984 landmark Ocean Rain. Similarly compelling are early numbers like the driving "The Cutter" and "Over Wall." These are nervy, kinetically delivered productions showcasing guitarist Will Sergeant's warmly acidic lead style and late drummer Pete de Freitas' edgy, jazz-informed sound. Elsewhere, we get the band's magisterial flagship "Bring on the Dancing Horses" and the anthemic, Scott Walker-esque "Seven Seas." We also get an inspired cover of the Doors' "People Are Strange," featuring organist Ray Manzarek, from The Lost Boys soundtrack. Ultimately, The Killing Moon: The Singles 1980-1990 works as a useful single-disc summation of the Bunnymen's career including 1980's Crocodiles and 1984's Ocean Rain, the latter of which many consider to be the band's grand opus. ~ Matt Collar
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