stream The Membranes’ new album ‘And What Nature Gives…Nature Takes Away’
The Membranes formed in 1977 and were a quintessential UK post-punk group, making angular, wiry, mutant pop with a wicked sense of humor. The band's initial run, which saw albums produced by Jon Langford of the Mekons and Steve Albini, ended in 1990 but bassist and founding member John Robb reformed the group for a few shows in the late-'00s. They then got back together in earnest, including '80s-era member Nick Brown, having made two albums since and will release their third, And What Nature Gives...Nature Takes Away, this week. John Robb, who is also a music journalist and founded online publication Louder Than War in 2011, still has something to say which is clear on this double album about the world, nature and our place in it.
"What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away is about the beauty and violence of nature," says Robb. "This is the pinnacle of our long and strange journey. This album is steeped in the powerful forces of nature and an underlying emotional undertow that is dark and brooding bass driven postipunk with the epic swirl of the choir and a diversity of sounds that takes you on a trip. I put my life into this album musically, lyrically and emotionally." Musically, this really is as sprawling and ambitious as its subject matter, swinging from the band's post-punk roots to epic prog and back again, with orchestration, sampled sound bites and more. Some of The Membranes' contemporaries are happy to regurgitate their most famous songs in slightly new fashion, but What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away bears no nostalgia.
The album's out tomorrow but you can listen to it now -- we're premiering a stream of the whole thing. Listen below.
The Membranes are touring the UK this summer -- all dates are listed below.
The Membranes - 2019 Tour Dates
Sat 8 June Ritz, Manchester: The Membranes & Friends 3 ft. Henge, Queen Zee, Glove, & more TBC (Discount Tickets)
Sat 22 June Bedford, Exquires
Sun 23 June Brighton, The Prince Albert
5 July Blackpool, The Waterloo
7 July Birmingham, O2 Academy
19 July Stoke, Sugarmill
20 July Liverpool, Phase One
2 August Rebellion Festival, Blackpool
6 September Newcastle TBC
11 October Glasgow King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
12 October Aberdeen, Krakatoa
2 November Corby, The White Hart
16-16 November Shiiine On Weekender, Minehead (Date TBC)