US - Ohio - Full Moon 123 - 10/07/06
Why I Hate Women
Smog Veil Records (US)/Glitterhouse (Eur)
David Thomas is the sole remaining member from the original line-up of the legendary Pere Ubu. But as he's the most important member as well, he steers the Ubu vehicle on and on, now with their 13th studio album in over 30 years of existence.
Thomas is the wild captain on board the ship, sounding as madly euphoric and hyper-actively high as ever. The rest of the crew are: bassist and singer Michele Temple - who's been in the band since her entrance on 1995's brilliant Ray Gun Suitcase, keyboardist and thereminist Robert Wheeler - who's also been on board the Ubu ship since Ray Gun..., drummer Steve Mehlman, who also "sticked" on 2002's St Arkansas album, and then there's guitarist/back-vox/bassist Keith Moliné - who's new in the Ubu setting, but has been one of David Thomas' Two Pale Boys for many years. And what do the new crew do, then? Behind the rather female hostile title, there's a fistful of songs following the track of the last couple of albums, Pennsylvania and St Arkansas. Which means more back to basics, and not at all related to the pop-era Ubu. This is the sound of old school, innovative, experimental
new rock, 70s style - of the type only a band like Pere Ubu (or a composer like David Thomas) could've come up with. 11 tracks swaying and shifting from calmer, moody tracks like "Blue Velvet" to hard rocking "Caroleen", with its Eddie van Halen-ish guitar intro. The epic "Love Song" is of the better tracks. As is "Texas Overture" and "Stolen Cadillac".
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed by Why I Hate Women. Not that it's a bad record. As always David Thomas comes up with intriguing story-telling, and the band unveils cunning arrangements and exciting sounds. You won't get bored. Not a second. And yet, I still want more of something, somewhat missing. Better songs? Maybe some weeks more accompanied by this record will help. It could be a slow grower, a late bloomer. Because in style and attitude Why I Hate... appears to be vintage Pere Ubu.
Copyright © 2006 Håvard Oppøyen