Echo & The Bunnymen : Flowers

It's hardly 'The Cutter', but it can just about handle the mustard

Re-return of the Mac

"Hey now, hey now/Don't you cry/It's just the dying of the light", sings Ian McCulloch halfway through Echo's eighth album, their third since The Resurrection of Mighty Mac and their first on Cooking Vinyl, where '80s indie dinosaurs go to make one last, grotesquely underrated masterpiece before carking it. 'Down the river my life flows/Took another wrong turning', he croons four tracks later and we find ourselves chucking Kleenex at that most pitiful of creatures: the

40-something ex-rock icon having a breakdown in the 'mid-price classics' section of HMV and being carted off to the great Never Mind The Buzzcocks panel in the sky.

Yet while McCulloch is lyrically peering into the abyss marked Middle Age and trading in his big coat for a tasteful Pacamac, musically the Bunnymen - a walking '80s revival since 1997 - are far from dribbling into their dog food. 'flowers' adds little but a Beatlesome jangle and some comfortable footwear to the Bunny blueprint laid out in 'Ocean Rain' in 1984 (chiming guitars; voice like the archangel Gabriel on 300 Lamberts a day), but the likes of 'An Eternity Turns', 'Hide & Seek' and the title track can still shake themselves out of their rose-tinted indie lethargy come the chorus and punch holes in the ceiling. It's hardly 'The Cutter', but it can just about handle the mustard.

Mark Beaumont
7 / 10

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