Friday, May 31, 2019
Archive Review: Pere Ubu's The Tenement Year (1988)
After several years of meditation, inner reflection, and personal projects Pere Ubu has re-formed to record and release The Tenement Year, an artistic tour de force of major proportions. The band, led by vocalist, songwriter, and poet David Thomas and included the multi-talented Chris Cutler (ex-Art Bears), soars and glides through eleven new, original songs like Icarus triumphant. Aiming for the sun and hotter than a solar flare, Ubu takes conventional musical tradition and turns it on its pointy lil’ head, moshing up a cacophonic blend of strange instrumentation, white noise, and industrial rhythms fronted by the tortured, howling vocals of the frantic Mr. Thomas.
The end result is aural excitement, an album unlike anything you’ve ever heard, sheer mind-expanding vinyl poetry that takes rock ‘n’ roll to a netherland that it’s never before witnessed. Find out for yourself why Pere Ubu’s early works influenced the creations of Joy Division, Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, and Devo, among others. The Tenement Year is certain to be every bit as influential. (Enigma Records, 1988)
Review originally published by The Metro (Nashville), 1988
Buy the CD from Amazon.com: Pere Ubu’s The Tenement Year