Pere Ubu: Carnival of Souls (Fire / Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Pere Ubu: Road to Utah
Pere Ubu: Carnival of Souls (Fire / Southbound)

With so much music codified into genres and artists reluctant to alienate an audience, Pere Ubu remain refreshingly abrasive, marginal and theatrically challenging.

Frontman David Thomas has barely toned down the confrontational sound they deployed when emerging out of Cleveland in the late Seventies.

Their early albums The Modern Dance (an Essential Elsewhere album, see here) and Dub Housing are still not for the fearful.

Here the gently brooding Visions of the Moon is cut across by serrated feedback; Dr Faustus mines Tom Waits' unease but delivers its own unsettling creaks and theremin; and Road to Utah has a Gothic menace.

Some of these nine songs have developed from atmospheric music which accompanied screenings of the '62 cult film of the same name, but Ubu music always creates a context of its own, and makes literary and pop culture references (96 Tears, the Doors and I Put A Spell on You among them).

For those who like B-grade horror, films like Freaks and Eraserhead, psychological thrillers and the sound of Poe being read while someone plays the Plan 9 From Outer Space soundtrack.

Some have a disturbing beauty, notably the fragile Irene and the 12 minute Brother Ray which is spoken word-cum-nightmare music.

Ubu: still different after all these years.

Elsewhere has a fascinating archival interview with David Thomas here, and other Pere Ubu albums -- and their extraordinary single 30 Seconds of Tokyo -- can be found here

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

George and Queen: Teenagers and Grownups (Universal)

George and Queen: Teenagers and Grownups (Universal)

For their third album, this duo (now a band) out of Dunedin (now Auckland) here deliver a particularly interesting amalgam of radio-friendly pop (the single Hut 234, the delightfully driving... > Read more

Vanessa McGowan: Mermaids and Whiskey (vanessamcgowan.com)

Vanessa McGowan: Mermaids and Whiskey (vanessamcgowan.com)

In a classy cover and under a tempting title comes this, the debut album under her own name for double bassist/singer-songwriter McGowan who was one half of the quietly acclaimed Her Make Believe... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Jan and Mark's easy-as noodles

Jan and Mark's easy-as noodles

The simple recipes are the best and they don't come much more easy than this, but also satisfying. INGREDIENTS  Thin yellow oil noodles (in the fridge and precooked from the Tofu... > Read more

CHUCK CLOSE IN SYDNEY (2014): In the face of challenges

CHUCK CLOSE IN SYDNEY (2014): In the face of challenges

In Sydney's newly renovated Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) there is a remarkable portrait of the late Lou Reed. It is an enormous piece by the American artist Chuck Close who is renown for... > Read more