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Membranes – Breathe In / Breathe Out

Blackpool post-punk rockers, Membranes, returned with their huge album ‘What Nature Gives… Nature Takes Away’ last year and was an album I very much enjoyed reviewing. Now they’re back with a reworking of the track ‘The 21st Century Is Killing Me’ from the aforementioned album and has been newly dubbed ‘Breathe In / Breathe Out’.

The song’s themes have taken on the social topics of 2020 and the covid-19 world. The lyrics focus on the concept of breathing which commentates on the airborne disease and the topic of wearing face masks. The accompanying music video displays members of the band wearing face masks, as well as, call-backs to gas masks and plague doctor outfits.

Breathe In / Breathe Out has a gospel and eulogy feel to it as the band have acquired a 26-piece orchestra for the track and makes everything sound huge and powerful. The rising vocals and continued repetition of the title pump the message into your mind with a feeling of having a right to breathe.

John Robb’s vocals are as eerie as ever throughout and you get the uncomfortable feeling of his ’21st century is killing me’ message which touches on many topics. Membranes are a green-focused band so I imagine this was an important piece for them to put together.

The best way to get the true feeling of this track is to watch the music video with its gothic themes showcasing the band in modern Britain and the modern world. I think they’ve taken an already interesting track and given it wings to reach new levels with powerful musical additions.