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The Membranes: Dark Matter/Dark Energy

Scary post-punk legends return to bewilder.

While virtually everyone else in the 80s indie scene was jangling ineffectually and wearing cardigans, The Membranes were inserting sticks of dynamite into the ears of the twee and screaming into their faces as their brains exploded.

Although marginally less terrifying and untamed than they were in their John Peel-approved heyday, John Robb and his ageing fellow agitators have lost none of their ability to unnerve and bewilder.

The first Membranes album in 26 years is almost a love letter to the free-spirited squall of the post-punk era, with everything from mutant funk (Do The Supernova) and strutting yob rock (21st Century Man) to rambling, avant-dub worthy of PiL at their Metal Box peak (In The Graveyard), with a short, sharp and caustic throwback to the days when Bogshed and Big Flame stalked the UK (Hail To The Lovers).

Wild, weird and wonderful, Dark Matter/Dark Energy is a lysergic punk triumph./o:p