Modern Dance

Modern Dance

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by Pere Ubu
     
 

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Before punk rock even existed, this Cleveland aggregation had perfected a dark, doomy clang that came to be known -- many years later--as "postpunk." All of the elements are in place on this, Ubu's 1978 major label bow: the harsh, protoindustrial synthesizer, the dirgelike tempi, the slashing, atonal guitar. But the core of Pere Ubu was - -and is -- the unique… See more details below

Overview

Before punk rock even existed, this Cleveland aggregation had perfected a dark, doomy clang that came to be known -- many years later--as "postpunk." All of the elements are in place on this, Ubu's 1978 major label bow: the harsh, protoindustrial synthesizer, the dirgelike tempi, the slashing, atonal guitar. But the core of Pere Ubu was - -and is -- the unique presence of front man David Thomas. The gargantuan singer's high-pitched wail increases the urgency of the angst-ridden screamer "Life Stinks" and adds to the general chaos of "Non-Alignment Pact." While there's a palpable darkness in these grooves, the hues are far more challenging than the black-and-white worldview favored by the punks who were simultaneously squalling about similar stuff. Even two decades later, the singular, cryptic vision that emanates from THE MODERN DANCE sounds far ahead of its time.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Dougan
There isn't a Pere Ubu recording you can imagine living without. The Modern Dance remains the essential Ubu purchase (as does the follow-up, Dub Housing). For sure, Mercury had no idea what they had on their hands when they released this as part of their punk rock offshoot label Blank, but it remains a classic slice of art-punk. It announces itself quite boldly: the first sound you hear is a painfully high-pitched whine of feedback, but then Tom Herman's postmodern Chuck Berry riffing kicks off the brilliant "Non-Alignment Pact," and you soon realize that this is punk rock unlike any you've ever heard. David Thomas' caterwauling is funny and moving, Scott Krauss (drums) and Tony Maimone (bass) are one of the great unheralded rhythm sections in all of rock, and the "difficult" tracks like "Street Waves," "Chinese Radiation," and the terrifying "Humor Me" are revelatory, and way ahead of their time. The Modern Dance is the signature sound of the avant-garage: art rock, punk rock, and garage rock mixing together joyously and fearlessly.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/02/1998
Label:
Fontana Geffen
UPC:
0720642520628
catalogNumber:
25206
Rank:
21934

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