Though deemed a success by all those who attended, that PiL’s recent reunion saw John Lydon spurn founder members Jah Wobble and Keith Levene was a shame – after all, their dub bass and fractured, anti-blues guitar lines ushered in post-punk during the band’s purple patch.
But this shunning has at least reunited the pair who have, to their credit, opted not to record Metal Box Mk II. Instead they draw on English psychedelia, Southern R&B and Americana: the Appalachian-style acoustic picking by Levene on Strut is quite unexpected.
Of course, the wide-boy Cockney geezer attitude of Wobble shines through in the title track, as do some heady, Miles Davis-inspired vibes on Back On The Block. Revenge of sorts upon their former bandleader comes both on Understand and a rousing dub that both feature lookalike/impersonator Nathan Maverick who, in convincing Lydon mode, has previously toured with them as ‘Johnny Rotter’.
Like its creators, Yin & Yang is a pedantic, occasionally paranoid-sounding and complex collection. But in this case that’s meant as nothing less than a compliment.