Pere Ubu - 20 Years In A Montana Silo album review

More strange, twisted music from Cleveland’s assault on blue-collar rock

Cover art for Pere Ubu - 20 Years In A Montana Silo album

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Album number 16 after a few hiatuses, and the first of The Dark Room, following on from the Orange Period. More of the dissimilar, one might say – singer (and mainstay) David Thomas howls, yelps and yowls across 12 tracks of stop-start analogue and digital guitar revisionism; the cluttering Krautrock rhythms of pioneers Neu! and so forth, set forth to a horror-show vision of radioactive disused factory lots and missile storage towers. Sometimes Thomas sounds deranged, angry like an aging Orson Welles railing futile at the clouds (Toe To Toe). On The Healer he sounds quietened, borderline beautiful as he bleats over distant clarinet and disharmony.

The Pere Ubu sound predated punk (but it’s not proto- or prog), and from the feel of it it might well see us all into our graves. Thomas might have this new album down as the James Gang teaming up with Tangerine Dream, but PU exist in a world their own, one that bears only passing resemblance to reality.

Everett True

Everett True started life as The Legend!, publishing the fanzine of that name and contributing to NME. Subsequently he wrote for some years for Melody Maker, for whom he wrote seminal pieces about Nirvana and others. He was the co-founder with photographer Steve Gullick of Careless Talk Costs Lives, a deliberately short-lived publication designed to be the antidote to the established UK music magazines.