Or you can buy the Membranes acclaimed CD from the band’s own online shop here
or the beautiful artefact of the Membranes double album vinyl from here
or you can pledge for the membranes remix album (remixes from Youth from Killing Joke, Neubauten, Bad Seeds, Therapy, Godflesh, the Pop group, Clint Mansell and many others…) Pledge here!
‘‘Very few rock bands, new or old, reformed or not have done an album as good as Dark Matter/Dark Energy in 2015.’
One of the albums of the year’The Quietus
‘An extraordinary comeback’the NME
‘Exciting and angular, their first album for 26 years actually pretty good’ Q
‘Something quite special’ Drowned in Sound 9/10
‘There have been some brilliant and breathtaking “guitar records” this year. And this is one of them. Maybe, in terms of sheer breadth of ambition, courage, and devil-take-the-hindmost intelligence, it’s the best one’ Incendiary website
‘The new Membranes album is epic, stunning and beautiful. Its strength is its diversity – ranging from angular noise to neo classical, from enveloping drones to ground breaking soundscapes to dark dub brilliance’ Classic Rock website Italy 10/10 album review
”What an ace comeback after 26 years! Truly amazing adventure into sound.’ Subba Culture website
‘The new album is easily the best thing the Membranes have ever done. Bristling with a diverse and brilliant section of songs that are epic in scale it is not only the best thing the band have ever done but one of the albums of the year.’ LTW
Highly influential UK post punk band the Membranes formed in the late seventies and their angular and noisy records were popular with John Peel and the music press and had a big influence on Big Black, Mercury Rev, Lambchop, Sonic Youth and a diverse range of then emerging American bands as well as UK groups as varied as My Bloody Valentine, Godflesh, The Charlatans and many others.
The group were a key part of the post punk DIY scene and toured the world several times and when My Bloody Valentine and then Shellac asked them to reform for separate ATP festival events it made sense for them to continue after a 25 year break. Their upcoming album in June, Dark Matter/Dark Energy is already getting a great reaction from the press and media and their gigs have been stunning.
When John Robb met the head of the CERN project after a TEDx talk they were both speaking at it was the start of the Membranes most audacious album.
Long and intense talks about the universe followed and the idea of the birth and then the death of the universe seemed perfect for a song cycle for the Membranes new album and for special one of gigs called The Universe Explained where Robb interviews scientists on stage and the band play at the end.
All the songs touch on aspects of space- from the opening track that is about the big bang of the universe to Joe himself explaining the universe over the spooky Multiverse Suite to the closing track, the Hum Of The Universe ,where the band try and capture the beauty and violence of the end of the universe and a human life.
During the recording of the album Robb’s own father died and his death is threaded through many of the songs and the idea that when we all die we return our dust and energy to the endless void. Tracks like In The Graveyard deal directly with watching his father die and his father can even be heard talking about the universe at the beginning of the same track.
Musically the Membranes had no interest in being a retro band. The double album seems them moving forward and experimenting with a fervent post punk, a psychedelia, dark dub, drones, neo classical pieces, stripped down film score and rushes of noisy discord. Built around the bass guitar – the key instrument of the post punk period that birthed the band this is a 21st century music made by a band who have been left to make music on their own terms.
Radio Alty, based in Altrincham launched it’s station bang in the middle of the lockdown, with Louder Than War’s Interviews & Features editor Nigel Carr presenting his own eclectic mix of new bands, many of which are featured on the website first, at 9 pm on Wednesdays.