On �The Cutter� fellow Liverpool natives, Echo and The Bunnymen successfully wed the Eastern influenced psychedelic sounds made famous by hometown heroes, The Beatles. Crafting Eastern influences into a new post-punk hybrid that was sweeping England in the Early 80�s. It was songs like �The Cutter� that would help define the newly coined Neo-psychedelic sub-genre, practiced by such group�s of the period as The Chameleons U.K., Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds amongst others. The track opens with a keyboard approximation of Indian strings, whirring briefly before the band kicks into a percolating groove of popping bass, driving straight drums and chinking guitar accents. Ian McCulloch adds another layer of �60 nostalgia, employing his expressive, slack-jawed vocal delivery that conjures aural images of the late Jim Morrison as he unfurls lines that drip with apprehension �Who�s on the seventh floor? / Brewing alternatives / What�s in the bottom drawer? / Waiting for things to give�. The Eastern strings re-enter at strategic points, filling in space between verses and McCulloch�s esoteric pleas to �spare us the cutter!�, which sounds like a good idea in any case. The arrangement also veers into epic territory quite unexpectedly in the second half, signaled by a sweeping wave of keyboard and McCulloch�s more subdued delivery as poses a string of rhetorically poignant questions, �Am I the happy loss? / Will I still recoil? / When the skin is lost / Am I the worthy cross? / Will I still be soiled? / When the dirt is off� -as the music swell behind him. Like any good single, the track never looses steam, cruising through each section with power and grace. A nod is in order for Ian Broudie, who�s smooth production helped The Cutter become Echo and The Bunnymen�s first top ten single in Britain and a linchpin track for the Neo-psychedelic movement.
from Porcupine (Sire 2-23770), available on CD (WEA)