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Pere Ubu ‎–Dub Housing lp


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SKU: lp 510bn Categories: , ,


2015 reissue on black vinyl

Pere Ubu emerged from the urban wastelands of mid-70s Cleveland to impact the American underground for generations to come; led by hulking frontman David Thomas, whose absurdist warble and rapturously demented lyrics remained the band’s creative focus throughout their long, convoluted career, Ubu’s protean art punk sound harnessed self-destructing melodies, scattershot rhythms, and industrial-strength dissonance to capture the angst and chaos of their times with both apocalyptic fervor and surprising humanity. Their 1978 album, Dub Housing, is widely considered their masterpiece. Darker and more difficult than The Modern Dance (indicated by the cover’s darkened apartment complex and stormy Cleveland skyline) with plenty of bleak soundscapes (e.g., “Codex”), Dub Housing also includes Navvy’s bouncy burble (featuring Thomas yelping “I have desires!”), and (Pa) Ubu Dance Partys surreal big beat. Make no mistake, as much as Ubu indulged in arty dissonance and mucked about with song structure, this is very much a rock & roll record, albeit one made by a band interested in pushing the envelope when it came to sound, song construction, and performance. As much as this is a band effort, the guitar of Tom Herman and the synthesizer of Allen Ravenstine frequently stand out. Herman’s strong, polished playing veers from assertive riffing to assaultive noise; Ravenstine, who may be one of the all-time great synth players, colors the sound with ominous whooshes of distortions, blips, and blurbs that sound like a sped-up Pong game. But, as is often the case with Ubu, it’s David Thomas’ singing (here at its most engagingly unrestrained) that is front and center. Part comic foil, part raging madman, Thomas utilizes all of his limited range in a whacked expressiveness built around hiccups, yodels, screeches, and, sometimes, singing. Dub Housing sold next to nothing but it remains an important and influential American rock record.

Track list:
1. Navvy
2. On The Surface
3. Dub Housing
4. Caligars Mirror
5. Thriller
6. I, Will Wait
7. Drinking Wine Spodyody
8. (Pa) Ubu Dance Party
9. Blow Daddy-o
10. Codex

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Fire Records

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