Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Pere Ubu: Dub Housing [Chrysalis, 1979]
Because I trust the way Ubu's visionary humor and crackpot commitment rocks out and/or hooks in for the sheer pleasure of it, I'm willing to go with their excursions into musique concrete, and on this record they get me somewhere. The death of Peter Laughner may well have deprived America of its greatest punk band, but the subsequent ascendancy of synth wizard Allen Ravenstine has defined a survival-prone community capable of bridging the '60s and the '80s without acting as if the '70s never happened. Imitating randomness by tucking randomlike sounds into deep but tactfully casual structures, joyfully confusing organic and inorganic sounds, they teach us how to live in the industrial shift--imaginatively! A