Pere Ubu

Why I Hate Women

Release Date: 09/04/2006 · Format: CD · Catalog-No:

Pere Ubu have really come out fighting with WHY I HATE WOMEN, racing towards all horizons at full tilt, pushing the experimental envelope further than ever, but also tightening up their trademark avant-punk attack.
If St Arkansas saw them rooting around furtively in rock's darkest, dankest corners, on WHY I HATE WOMEN Ubu seem to illuminate these secret spaces with firework displays and thousand-watt searchlights.

The rhythm section (Ubu's longest serving) of bassist Michele Temple and drummer Steve Mehlman is tauter and leaner than ever before. Robert Wheeler's bravura performance on vintage electronics has him coming over as rural Ohio's answer to Sun Ra, splattering analogue synth and theremin all over the music with wild, visionary abandon. Guitarist (and newest recruit) Keith Moliné veers between wayward sonic expressionism and disciplined garage thrust.

At the eye of the storm is singer David Thomas, a true rock maverick at the height of his powers. His vocal approach shows a startling new melodicism, a plaintive purity of expression that cuts through his familiar repertoire of radical voicings and techniques. Lyrically he manages to balance stormy obsessiveness with flashes of playful wit, refracting standard rock themes (love and obsession) through the looking glass of his boundless imagination. WHY I HATE WOMEN is a spacious, immediate and vibrant document. The thunderously exciting "Caroleen" and "Flames Over Nebraska" spotlight some smart, sardonic riffing, while "Texas Overture" is a joyous, addictive lope. "2 Girls (One Bar)" and "Mona" are wired, edgy and jagged. "Babylonian Warehouses" and "Love Song" are beautiful epics of torment and yearning. There's also more improvised work than usual; "Blue Velvet," "Synth Farm" and "Stolen Cadillac" are stunningly focused studio jams, the latter featuring Wheeler and Moliné weaving unearthly drones around Temple's beautifully measured bass figure. Temple also contributes a lead vocal to the haunted vignette "My Boyfriend's Back." And of course there's Thomas's incredibly distinctive production style to savour, a kind of hyper-naturalism (see footnote below) that cloaks each sound - Mehlman's mesmerising drums in particular - in dark, spectral electricity.

EXPLANATION OF TITLE: Why I Hate Women is based on the Jim Thompson novel he never wrote but would have. (“The title came to me as I was sitting in my local pub. Knowing what would lay ahead I was not happy. Weeks went by as I searched in vain for an alternative.”)

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