Too many Pere Ubu records have been allowed to slip out of print, so here, to coincide with some shows, the group are reissuing a few early records on Fire. Dub Housing is their second album, and represents the group at their wild, harsh best. Newly remastered from the original tapes and available on CD or LP.
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In our latest filing disaster, Pere Ubu was filed under U so in an attempt to redress the balance I shall say some nice words on what is generally considered to be their best work the magnificently titled ‘Dub Housing’.
Pere Ubu are one of those bands which surely must have sounded at the time like they had just arrived from outer space. They have a rubbery, angular sound which gives you the impression that the band played their music whilst being lurched back and forward on a gigantic swing. On top of this you get David Thomas’s vocals which can only really be accurately described as a cross between the sounds made by a chicken and a duck. The ‘dub’ in the title is not a misnomer, the opening brace of tracks have something of a dub-influenced lollop but it’s not until the title track where you could semi-accurately describe what is being played as 'dub'. It sounds something like early Roxy Music being remixed by King Tubby fronted by a speed freak Donald Duck. The record is wild and disorientating and magnificent. There are shades of Beefheart in the twangy and off kilter ‘Caligari’s Mirror’ and they enjoy making things so difficult then placing standard-ish chords to hold everything together.
It appears to have been made with rubber bands. Totally unique.
8/10 Penrith Steve Customer review, 14th July 2015
Pere Ubu front man David Thomas sings as if he's startled by sitting down on drawing pins. "Dub Housing" is the second album by Pere Ubu and was released in the same year as their debut, "The Modern Dance", 1978. It doesn't quite have the same stalking, haunting quality juxtaposed with the crazy wails that makes it's predecessor so wonderfully weird and infectious, but it's not far off. Opener "Navvy" is brilliant. The title track, which is also great takes the craziest bits of Talking Heads and twists them into high energy spring ready to uncoil. When listening to tracks like "Drinking Wine Spybody" you'll realise this is not like anything else you've heard.
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- Dub Housing by Pere Ubu
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