It's hard to picture it now but the Virgin Prunes were once part of the same post-punk Dublin scene as U2. Thereafter all similarities end. Led by Gavin Friday, this provocative collective were renowned for their live appearances which were more concerned with art and performance (simulated sex, nudity, that kind of thing) than the music itself. After a few single/EP appearances, 'A New Form Of Beauty' was unleashed; not in album form as one might expect but in seven, ten and twelve-inch formats, so the release on a two CD set is welcome for convenience reasons alone. Digesting all four parts in one sitting is not recommended for novices though. The first part is excellent; two tracks of vital, menacing post-punk drama which sit neatly alongside the early work of Bauhaus. 'Come To Daddy', which opens Part II makes Aphex Twin's namesake single seem lily-livered by comparison and is a perfect demonstration of how the group fused horrific imagery with fairytale lyricism. The remainder is less shocking and ultimately less interesting, nevertheless the incessant eerie soundscapes - especially on 'No Birds To Fly' - manage to transmit moments of surprising beauty and clarity. The largely improvised Part IV even finds time for a little on-stage banter. Moments of levity are rare, however, for this is a soundtrack to accompany a child's nightmares.