Blondie’s back, just in time for ‘Rapture’ 

It’s been eight long years since their last studio set. Time enough for a whole new generation to have come of age without hearing New York proto-punkers Blondie.

But band founders Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke are back (aided by three new members) this September with their ninth studio set, the self-released “Panic Of Girls.” And the Rock And Roll Hall-of-Famers look and sound Dorian-Gray great. See for yourself at their website, where they’re currently previewing the ’80s-retro, Laurent Rejto-directed video for the album’s first single, “Mother.” It’s “Parallel Lines” all over again.

To recapture that incendiary energy, the group decamped to Woodstock with producers Jeff Saltzman and Kato Khandwala, and jumped gleefully into experiments like “Le Bleu” (which Harry sings in French) and “Work Off My Sweat” (co-penned with Cuban artist Paradise N. Effecto and featuring a blaring trumpet solo from Beirut’s Zach Condon). They also cover Beirut (“Sunday Smile”) and an old reggae hit from the mid-’80s, “Girlie Girlie.”

The CD booklet art was hand painted by Dutch cult artist Chris Berens, whose spooky gauzelike paintings are downright otherworldly.

Their last disc was ominously dubbed “The Curse Of Blondie.” But — as this kinetic comeback proves — there’s no curse to speak of.

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Tom Lanham

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