At this year’s Camden Crawl, The Bunnymen arguably gave the most assured and fist-pumpingly awesome performance of the weekend and, while some people say they won’t listen ’til they have their hubcaps back, the gig, like the ‘Ocean Rain’ tour that preceded it, seemed to set the scousers on a lofty pop pedestal that they definitely deserve. While they’ve never again scaled the heights of ‘Ocean Rain’ or ‘Crocodiles’, they have continued to put out admirable music with the odd stunner cropping up now and again.

Making soaring lead single ‘Think I need it Too’ the first track here was a mistake, as from there it’s all downhill, bar the comic high point of ‘Shroud of Turin’ (“I love that sweet sack you’re in/I love that you’re from Turin”). Songs like the title track and ‘Life of 1000 crimes’ aren’t bad in themselves, but the surrounding widescreen indie rock seems sadly tailored for duel-carriageways, artistically belittled by clich√©s, (over)produced by John McLaughlin (Busted, Five). The mood of slight, major-key euphoria refuses to go away and its ballads come across like Richard Hawley rebuilt by out-of-work former XFM DJ’s.

By Edgar Smith

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