Ian, Will and Hugh—back in the U.S.S.R.
It’s hard to imagine Ian McCullough and Will Sergeant, the two remaining and essential Bunnymen, kicking back for a pint and a laugh.
Certainly not on Siberia
, the latest raincoat-athon from the sultans of psychedelic dourness, on which McCullough’s iconic tenor floats, wavering lines like “Yeah, that’s me, cold as ice / On my knees, every night.” It’s classic Bunnymen: single-note guitar solos phased over dark, cold lyrics and juxtaposed against Mac’s warm post-Bowie croon. But there’s something disconcerting about Siberia
’s familiarity. The Bunnymen sound more like their once-contemporaries—the Psychedelic Furs on “Sideways Eight,” U2 on “All Because of You Days”—than the band ever did on, say, Ocean Rain
. Perhaps it’s the result of studio reminiscences with Hugh Jones, the Heaven Up Here
producer, who’s onboard for the first time since ’81. Or perhaps, after a quarter-century of stardom, Mac and Will feel as alone as it gets in rock ’n’ roll—like they’re back in the pop gulag where it all began.