Pere Ubu - Carnival of Souls
Conceived on the road in support of last year’s majestic Lady of Shanghai, Pere Ubu have taken their blueprint (if they have such a thing), ripped it up and glued it back together in a way that seems totally alien, yet remains undoubtedly Ubu. Carnival of Souls' astonishing collision of art punk, krautrock, space rock and industrial pummeling is as unnerving as the Herk Harvey film from which it takes its name, and is just as captivating.
Kicking off with the the Ministry-ish aggressions of 'Golden Surf II', it is instantly clear that this not going to be an album for the faint of heart and so it proves with the sinister rumblings of 'Dr Faustus', b-movie soundtrack-in-waiting 'Road to Utah' and the ridiculously creepy 'Carnival' being particularly unsettling. The gently oscillating 'Visions of the Moon' provides a little light relief as does the brittle love song 'Irene', but when that gives way to the angst ridden 12 minute epic 'Brother Ray', all thoughts of relaxation are soon driven to the back of your mind as the album careers towards to a fittingly fractured finale. After four decades quite how any act can continue to make challenging and enthralling music to the degree shown on Carnival of Souls is a mystery - but one that Pere Ubu are quite happy to perpetuate. As long as they continue on their own unique path, this is one mystery that remains better unsolved.