To call experimental rocker Pere Ubu an acquired taste is an understatement. For more than four decades now music writers have struggled to properly classify the Cleveland musician, tossing out terms like Post Punk, New Wave, Art Punk and taking on every imaginable prefix and suffix to the term rock in a futile effort to find a shorthand for the group’s sound. Lady From Shanghai, the band’s 15th album is not exactly going to clear things up for anyone.
The band is just as uncompromising as ever, putting occasionally hard to decipher vocals over layers and layers of sounds that are still a challenge for the casual listener to get into. But on repeated listens there are a number of songs that start to stand out from the rest (most notable “Nothing Happened” and “Musicians Are Scum”). While you’re never going to catch yourself humming these songs in the shower, spend enough time with the record and you’ll begin to realize how Pere Ubu has built up such a loyal (though admittedly cult) following over the years.
Pere Ubu – Lady From Shanghai/11 tracks/Fire/2013