Yet another in an increasingly virulent stream of albums targeted at the final three hermits who do not yet have a copy of The Killing Moon
at hand. Echo & the Bunnymen
have been peculiarly overlooked in the pantheon of '80s greats, perhaps a consequence of never being quite as good as they said they were. And this set, taken from a live show at London's Shepherds Bush Empire during their 2005 Siberia
tour, does little to remedy that situation. Always better in the studio than live and in the flesh, the album cobbles together a decent selection of the band's greatest hits, including "The Cutter," "The Killing Moon," "Lips Like Sugar," and "The Back of Love," while adding the newer "Stormy Weather" and "Scissors in the Sand" in case you overlooked the point. And yes, the older songs still stand the test of time, to some degree. The lyrics are suitably sappy, the tone still deliciously downbeat, the memories of the band in their early -'80s heyday do still linger. They were a vital part of the British musical tapestry, after all, and both Ian MCCulloch
and Will Sergeant
continue to prove themselves polished and cultivated showmen. Where the album falls down, however, is in the sheer lack of energy and apparent lack of interest from the band that permeates the set. Go back to the first four albums, pick up any number of compilations. Unless you're a completist, it's probably better to leave this one by the wayside. There are far better slabs of Echo & the Bunnymen
to sample, both live and in the studio, with which to satisfy those necessary shoegazing cravings.