Since 1976 Pere Ubu have been creating their own unique brand of art-rock and they show utterly no sign of stopping. The magnificently titled '20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo' once again sees them hunker down in a dark windowless room a create blasts of future music...this time with lots of synths.
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Quack quack Pere Ubu are back. It seems that every other record I've heard this week references them in one way or other but it's nice to hear the original art rockers still on the go. Pere Ubu have got long past the time where you might worry they'd gone soft and instead their latest recordings carry on the buzzing angular rock template they started in the mid '70s. David Thomas still sounds like one part Captain Beefheart and one part a malfunctioning goose and the band behind him rattle off inventive and slightly chilling soundscapes. Opener 'Monkey Bizness' is a fantastically skewed take on surf rock to open things up with Thomas spewing words atop like a deranged man. 'Funk 49' adds in bleeping and often screaming synths to the equation and here we have the template for some of the rest of the set. Their particular savage form of post punk comes complete with synth detritus hurled on top but just as you feel a whole album of this could get wearing they strip things down to the acoustic lament of 'The Healer'. This track in particular reminds me of early Roxy Music in that particular futuristic form of off kilter almost glammy rock.
I'm not sure where this rates on Pere Ubu's trajectory but it's a lively little beast. Sometimes too full of ideas - Swampland has some killer sounding riffs that seems to give way to less good ones - the band are still their own thing - a tumbling falling often infuriating burst of art rock. Long may they continue.
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- 20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo by Pere Ubu
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