Photo by John Middleham
The veteran U.K. post-punk act The Membranes next week return with their second post-reunion album, the ambitious What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away, and Slicing Up Eyeballs is thrilled to premiere the second single off that LP, “Black is the Colour.”
The pounding five-minute rocker — you can hear it below via its singing-skull video — is all momentum, riding a throbbing bassline as frontman and co-founder John Robb barks the lyrics.
Robb, who also runs the music site Louder Than War, offers his thoughts on the song:
“It is about the dark heart of winter. The time when nature’s cycle in at its lowest ebb. Each side of the album is a different season and represented by the alchemists symbol for that season. The video was shot in Genoa in the same graveyard where the photo was taken for the cover of the ‘Closer’ album by Joy Division. That was a neat reference on my levels. ‘Black is the Colour’ embraces the dark and yet is a tripped out vibe.”
Cherry Red Records will release the 16-track double album — the band’s eighth overall and second since reuniting in 2009 to play a My Bloody Valentine-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties festival — on June 9. It’s available to preorder now in CD, vinyl and digital formats.
Robb describes the album as being “about the beauty of violence of nature,” that’s abetted by a 20-piece choir that appears on half the songs, adding “dark harmonies which have been compared to a Hieronymous Bosch painting — a description which we love.”
Below, check out the “Black is the Colour” clip, featuring video design and special effects by Dave Hodgson of DNH Design and footage shot by Robb himself — plus the album’s tracklist and cover art.
The Membranes, What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away
1. “A Strange Perfume”
2. “What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away”
3. “A Murder of Crows”
4. “The City is an Animal (Nature Is Its Slave)”
5. “The 21st Century Is Killing Me”
6. “Deep In The Forest Where The Memories Linger”
7. “Black is The Colour”
8. “A Murmuration of Starlings on Blackpool Pier”
9. “Mother Ocean/Father Time”
10. “The Magical and Mystical Properties Of Flowers”
11. “Snow Monkey”
12. “Demon Seed/Demon Flower”
13. “The Ghosts of Winter Stalk This Land”
14. “Winter (The Beauty and Violence of Nature)”
16. “Pandora’s Box”