Monday, June 19, 2006

Pere Ubu

I found in a library a five-disc box of Pere Ubu, the classic American new wave band from the late seventies and early eighties. I'd liked the band's Dub Housing when I used to listen to it in the Pori's town library in the late eighties, but hadn't heard it since.

It attracts me even now, even though my preferences in music have changed quite a bit from that time. It's a good mix of weird noise and catchy melodies and riffs, somewhere between punkish pop and avantgarde, with tongue firmly in cheek. In one of the unreleased tracks in the collection they do a version of The Seeds's classic garage tune Pushin' Too Hard! They certainly have some roots in the sixties acid punk. (The Wikipedia link tells me that their first single "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" was dubbed a garage track by a critic.) At least it's never close to prog rock - heaven's sake!

I haven't seem much discussion of Pere Ubu lately, but they would seem to be a precursor to lots of postrock bands of the late nineties and 2000's, even though far more playful than band like, say, Mogwai. This from the Wikipedia site:

"In their songs, Pere Ubu imagined 1950s and 1960s garage rock and surf music archetypes as seen in a distorting funhouse mirror, emphasising the music's angst, loneliness and lyrical paranoia."

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