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One Man Drives While the Other Man Screams - Live, Vol. 2

Pere Ubu

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Album Review

The second volume in the live Ubu saga, this is sonically better than its predecessor, 390 Degrees of Simulated Stereo. Covering the period from 1978-1981, the tracks on this recording were recorded during the guitarist transition from Tom Herman to Mayo Thompson. And while I prefer Herman's more assertive guitar playing, Thompson acquits himself nicely here, especially on "Birdies" and "(Pa) Ubu Dance Party." Vocalist David Thomas has some extraordinary moments here, as he is less restrained (positively manic) than in the studio. His glee is contagious, and by infusing the songs with such unrestrained joy, the band never sounds too dour and serious. Proof that art-rock can rock.

Biography

Formed: August, 1975 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Pere Ubu emerged from the urban wastelands of mid-'70s Cleveland to impact the American underground for generations to follow; led by hulking frontman David Thomas, whose absurdist warble and rapturously demented lyrics remained the band's creative focus throughout their long, convoluted career, Ubu's protean art punk sound harnessed self-destructing melodies, scattershot rhythms, and industrial-strength dissonance to capture the angst and chaos of their times with both apocalyptic fervor and surprising...
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