Echo & the Bunnymen

Posters festooned around Warehouse Live for the past couple of months have advertised Echo & the Bunnymen's Friday show as "A Master Class in Rock and Roll" — a typically grandiose pronouncement from the mind of seldom-bashful front man Ian McCulloch, perhaps, but not that far off the mark either. The Liverpudlians will be playing their first two albums, 1980's Crocodiles and '81's Heaven Up Here, straight through in consecutive sets. Both records are cornerstones of post-punk, Crocodiles channeling McCulloch's abundant angst and Will Sergeant's steely guitar into terse nail-bombs like "Villiers Terrace" and the title track, while softer-hued songs such as "Pictures on My Wall" mingle the Doors and Joy Division into potent proto-goth. Lusher and moodier, Heaven Up Here added more sonic colors and studio effects to the band's palette, Sergeant's echoing, clattering guitar earning valid U2 comparisons that annoyed McCulloch no end even as they helped point the way toward future triumphs (and hopeful encores) "The Cutter," "The Killing Moon" and "Lips Like Sugar."


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