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Old 10-31-2008, 09:15 AM   #38 (permalink)
Brad Stengel
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Boston, MA
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#20

Pere Ubu
"Terminal Tower: An Archival Collection, Non-LP Singles & B-Sides 1975-1980"(1965)


Pere Ubu has taken the longest out of any album on this list for me to get into. Most of them took a bit to warm up to-but I bought this in the summer of 2006, and only this past spring have I come to fully embrace it. The reason is simple-this is challenging music, and although this music was released thirty years ago, it sounds as though it could have been today, and still remained on the cutting edge. Pere Ubu is probably further ahead of their time than any other band I've ever heard. With odd tape loops and sound collages married with off kilter guitar and bass arrangements, Frank Thomas, the lead singer, with his low, soulful, yet disconnected howl, it's brilliant!

The song that made me go out and buy this, "Final Solution" is by far one of their best, and a proto/post-punk classic. With Pere Ubu's most straightforward lyrics, about a pimply teenager no less-it's their official 'gateway track' their least strange song, and thankfully, motivating enough to make you want more.

This is one of maybe only 4 or 5 albums in my collection where every song sounds completely different, which is an incredible feat in and of itself, nevermind the fact that almost every song here is completely original and sounds like almost nothing else at the time. One exception being, "Heaven", another favorite of mine. With a stuttering reggae beat, and a fabulous solo that proves Pere Ubu could have been a great pop band had they not chosen the long rugged path of obscurity, this song almost makes you forget who you're listening to-other than the creepy engine noises in the background of course.

I go back and forth with alot of these songs in choosing what my favorite is, but "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" was the song that really opened my eyes and showed me that Ubu had more to offer other than, "Final Solution". Theres really no way to describe this song, other than it takes the most unlikely and challenging of approaches to a song, and the result is fucking awesome, especially the ending.

Pere Ubu, other than maybe Television, is the only band I've seen classified as both proto-punk and post-punk. Their timing was early-a few of the singles on here were released before "Anarchy In The U.K.", yet the sound is undeniably post-punk, a sound that takes all the attitude and straightforwardness of punk, and adds experimentation. This band sounds like they've invented a time machine, went into the future, listened to lots of Talking Heads, Gang of Four, and Mission of Burma, came back to 1975, and did it all first. Or they were just that groundbreaking in the first place. Both explanations are tough for me to swallow, so I'll have to get back at you on that one.
91/100
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