Pere Ubu — New Picnic Time
(Thirsty Ear thi 570702, 1979/1999, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2000-05-01
The third album in the Pere Ubu canon is one where the group appears to be in a more playful mode rather than on their acclaimed sophomore album, Dub Housing (1978). They had matured a bit since their Cleveland inception, and still managed to remain uncategorizable, thus why the five piece was dropped into the New Wave of the day. David Thomas gives the ten track proceedings a Tiny Tim pandemonium vocal styling, which is more whimsical rather than abrasive on this album. Maybe that comes from adjusting your earpiece or more likely due to tastes changing in the past twenty years. Probably his best singing is on "49 Guitars & One Girl" with a twangy guitar and sick synthesizer accompaniment. Thomas is both beat poet and performance artist, embracing opposing sides of recitation and prose. Another notable, mostly instrumental piece, "A Small Dark Cloud," opens with bird chirps underpinned by tympani shots, indicating the band branching out into "freestyle" arrangements. They were keen to use squawks and toys as well as stabbing organ swirls in their small world of controlled chaos, with bleak effect. "Goodbye" is a great contrasting piece, which shows a stretch into the mode of the disturbing and ominous. Thirsty Ear has done an excellent job preserving the packaging of the original release as well improving the sound quality with CD transfer.
Related artist(s): Pere Ubu
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more