The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


The Membranes Announce New Album
Laurie Tuffrey , April 1st, 2015 12:10

Dark Matter/Dark Energy due in June - give The Universe Explodes Into A Billion Photons Of Pure White Light a play below

Twenty six years after their last studio album, The Membranes have announced the release of their new record, Dark Energy/Dark Matter, due out on June 22 via Cherry Red Records. Taking a conversation with a CERN organisation scientist as its leaping-off point, the record sees the band vastly broadening their musical approach, as revealed in opening track 'The Universe Explodes Into A Billion Photons Of Pure White Light', which they've kindly given us a play of above.

The double-album comes in the wake of three 7"s the band have put out since reforming to play the My Bloody Valentine-curated ATP festival in 2009. The work of scientists experimenting with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN shapes the record, a meeting between John Robb, Membranes singer and bassist, music journalist, Louder Than War founder and all-round stand-up guy, and Joe Incandela, the particle physicist and former spokesperson for CERN's Compact Muon Solenoid experiment, kickstarting the album's writing process. (Incandela appears on the track 'The Multiverse Suite'). The record also has a more personal resonance for Robb, whose father passed away during its recording. Writing about the album, Robb says "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", with closing track 'The Hum Of The Universe' seeing the band "try and capture the beauty and violence of the end of the universe and a human life" simultaneously. Musically, the band tell us to expect, well, almost everything on the sonic front, saying that Dark Energy/Dark Matter "weaves noise, drones, percussion, feedback, discord, melody, free jazz, dub, dark dub, free punk, heavy rhythms, classical music, orchestras, percussion, near silence, death to trad rock noise and freedom into a unique whole of beauty and noise and enjoys all the contrasts".

The Membranes will be preceding the album's release with a series of gigs, starting with the psych and post-punk one-dayer Manchester Will Rise Again at the city's Deaf Institute on May 2, where they'll be joined by tQ's own John Doran and Årabrot, as part of their tour in support of John's book, Jolly Lad - full details of that date are here. Take a look at the rest of the dates below and head to their Facebook page for full details and tickets:

Fri 22 - Lexington, London
Sat 23 - Liverpool Sound City

Sat 6 - Fibbers, York
Fri 12 - Citrus Club, Edinburgh
Sat 13 - Broadcast, Glasgow

Sat 4 - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.