Back in 1995, the two dominating forces of Echo And The Bunnymen decided to tentatively reconvene under a different name. The theory could be that Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant could hide under the limelight to gauge public reaction to a proper comeback but the most convincing argument is that they wanted to start a new project, which was adrift from the earlier work with their erstwhile band. However shortlived this detour this was, though, Electrafixion proved to be one of the more palatable "side projects" around and confidence was gained for a fully-fledged reunion with remaining Bunnyman Les Pattinson soon after.
'Burned' differs substantially from Bunnymen work as it seems to be a reaction to the grunge era of the early 1990s. Sergeant's always distinctive guitar work was fuzzier and harder but still recognisably Arabesque whilst McCulloch seems to revel in this situation; cast as a sneering rock figure rather than a post-punk figurehead. Looking back, 'Sister Pain' and 'Who's Been Sleeping In My Head?' still rank alongside the duo's best work. They are backed up by some strong album tracks such as 'Too Far Gone' and 'Zephyr' whilst 'Never' swings convincingly. Throughout Sergeant sets about his task like a man possessed.
The only problem with the reissue is that there's too much to digest. As well as B-sides on the first CD there is an extra CD of predominantly live material which - despite being well recorded - only serve to show that they could play their songs in concert almost as well as in the studio. Nevertheless, 'Burned' remains a useful and unfairly overlooked chapter in the story of two of indie rock's greatest icons.