Pere Ubu - Dub Housing
1978, Chrysalis Records, Cleveland OH
I like post-punk. That's actually bull shit, I absolutely love post-punk. Sometimes it means brooding distorted guitars, sometimes it means lots and lots of synths, sometimes it means so much feedback that your ears start bleeding and it almost always means un restrained experimentalism. And I love every bit of it. Even the ones that make your ears bleed (especially the ones that make your ears bleed).
I have a fairly respectable collection of post-punk, new and old. From Young Marble Giants all the way down through Liars. So when I sat down to give Dub Housing my premier listen I was pretty sure I knew what to expect. A 1978 Cleavland band, named after a character from an absurdest play. Going to be something pretty dark and, well, cabaret, right? So you can imagine my surprise when I hear the initial wail of "I'VE GOT THESE ARMS AND LEGS, THEY FLIP FLOP! FLIP FLOP!"
What the fuck is going on here?
Does David Thomas realize he sounds like a really paranoid crack up David Byrne on too much caffeine? Does he realize that David Byrne is already paranoid and on too much caffeine to begin with? Does he realize the implications of adding more paranoia and coffee on top of that? Do they realize that synthesizer sounds like velcro? Does he realize... I mean what the fuck is going on here?
And I generally don't like to analyze lyrics, but seriously, what the fuck does Navvy mean? I mean, those words had to come from somewhere, right?
Once I recovered from shock, well, its brilliant. If your in to that kind of intellectual bullshit, that is. And I certainly am. All the lyrics come off as wildly intelligent when you take the time to look closely at them, and as deeply stoned rants if you don't. Both might be true. Some come off as genuinely creepy, particularly Dub Housing and Caligari's Mirror. Others, wile still remaining the weird far off center feel, are just amazingly fun. Not to mention the most innovative synthesizer use I have ever herd.
In all its an amazingly experimental off kilter album that I guaranty sounds nothing like everything you've ever herd before. But then again I don't know your music taste. You might be truly annoyed by it and want to turn it off after two songs.
2. On The Surface
3. Dub Housing
4. Caligari's Mirror
6. I Will Wait
7. Drinking Wine Spodyody
8. Ubu Dance Party
9. Blow Daddyo
I think about you all the time...