Above all, The Membranes are/were an experience, an expression of perpetual, positive dissent against the “Titanic of popular culture”, rather than a group who went on a musical odyssey. The range of titles from Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder, Shine On softwareuiphraseguid=“30b7ea9e-c0c4-4ff8-bc4f-397b6601dc1c”>Pumpkin Moon and England Expects Every Man To Do His Booty are indicators of the caustic energy that pumped through the group’s veins. They declared death on Trad Rock but replaced it with a truer, freer rock, guitars spilling freely like guts, rhythms tumbling and crashing downstairs and through roofs, guitars not so much played as their necks wrung.
It was inevitable that they would eventually run out of steam the first time round, but not before they influenced the likes of Big Black and a subsequent avalanche of grunge. It was also inevitable, given these times, that they would revive and rage again – they have a new album out soon.