1983, Music

Porcupine (1983) by Echo and the Bunnymen

I really enjoyed Heaven Up Here and I perhaps had too-high expectations when I first listened to this record. The first time I heard it, I wasn’t feeling it.

A lot of that had to do with listening to War for the first time in ages at the same time, as both records were released in the same month. I don’t really remember thinking these guys sounded like U2 on their previous effort but here it seemed hard to deny it – they sounded to me like a way artier version of contemporary U2. That’s not necessarily a compliment either.

But nearly all that perceive similarity is based on Bono and McCulloch, who do have slightly similar voices (though they use them differently for the most part). And a comparison focused on the singers ignores that Echo & the Bunnymen were, in 1983, a much more interesting band than U2. (Also, it’s safe to say that I like McCulloch’s lyrics more than Bono’s for the most part. Not saying they’re better necessarily, just that I like McCulloch’s more.)

So the music: the thing that is appealing about the Bunnymen is that they manage to walk a fine line between dark, gothy post-punk and the emerging neo-psychedelic sound, without sounding like they’re caught in between. The touches add to record and make it stand out from other post punk bands, rather than sounding like a gimmick.

This is certainly not their best record by any means but it’s a pretty good one: good set of songs for the era and genre, and a stronger set of arrangements.


  1. “The Cutter” – 3:56
  2. “The Back of Love” – 3:14
  3. “My White Devil” – 4:41
  4. “Clay” – 4:15
  5. “Porcupine” – 6:01
  6. “Heads Will Roll” – 3:33
  7. “Ripeness” – 4:50
  8. “Higher Hell” – 5:01
  9. “Gods Will Be Gods” – 5:25
  10. “In Bluer Skies” – 4:33

All tracks written by Will Sergeant, Ian McCulloch, Les Pattinson and Pete de Freitas.

  • Ian McCulloch – vocals, guitar, piano
  • Will Sergeant – lead guitar
  • Les Pattinson – bass
  • Pete de Freitas – drums

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