When I first bought this album in 1983 I was struck by how unmemorable the songs were. Don't misunderstand me - I loved hearing the album but it was the uncatchiest record I had ever heard, apart from the two obvious singles, Back Of Love and The Cutter, which still sound superb and fresh in 2008. The Bunnymen had expanded their instrumentation beyond the basic guitar, bass and drums set up and this is captured brilliantly in the production. There's a clarity, edginess and impact to the recording which in later years was lost, never to return.
Ian's vocals soared and dived, Pete and Les were as solid as ever on drums and bass and Will's guitar alternated between soft and crashing. I love the acoustic opening of Heads Will Roll, followed by loud electric guitar and strings. Ripeness is a corker of a song but took a lot of listens before I could remember any of it. Clay and Gods Will Be Gods are slightly catchy but Higher Hell and My White Devil are dark and moody though still great songs. The title track, Porcupine, is the most unusual song with its change of tempo and dark (again), mysterious feel. In Bluer Skies begins and ends with the sound of waves and is another gloomy, introspective song but is brilliant for it.
This album, to me, represents the Bunnymen at the peak of their creativity. Later albums had catchy songs but smooth, slightly bland productions. Listen to the raw impact of this album and enjoy Ian's powerful vocal at its best.