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 70s (their early albums The Modern Dance and Dub Housing are still not for the fearful) and 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 songs have developed from atmospheric music to accompany 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).

This is for those who like B-grade horror, films like Freaks and Eraserhead, psychological thrillers and the sound of Poe being read.


Some songs have a disturbing beauty, notably the fragile Irene and the 12-minute Brother Ray, which is spoken-word-cum-nightmare music. Still different after all these years.

Verdict: From a cellarful of noise

- elsewhere.co.nz

- TimeOut