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Morphius Records Newsletter
Lens Records is a Chicago based record label created to help support and distribute the works of artists who prefer to work with a smaller, artist driven label. The label has released a variety of work in different genres including ambient, experimental, dark ambient, electronic, rock, modern classical, electroacoustic and field recordings...
More than 30 years after their first performance, Pere Ubu have really come out fighting with the release of WHY I HATE WOMEN, an album that races towards all horizons at full tilt. This release not only pushes their experimental envelope further than ever, but it also tightens up their trademark avant-punk attack. If St Arkansassaw them rooting around furtively in rock’s darkest and dankest corners, on Why I Hate Women Ubu illuminate these secret spaces with firework displays and thousand-watt searchlights.
Ubu’s longstanding rhythm section 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, whose 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 typical rock themes 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 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 stunning studio jams, the latter featuring unearthly drones woven 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 savor. His craft is a kind of hyper-naturalism that cloaks each sound in dark, spectral electricity.