Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Pere Ubu: New Picnic Time [Chrysalis, 1980]
Recitative, animal noises, and industrial waste for the ear threaten their precarious (by definition) art-rock balance. "A Small Dark Cloud" is mostly voice and sound effects, "The Voice of the Sand" mostly whisper and sound effects, "All the Dogs Are Barking" barely more. Then again "Jehovah's Kingdom Comes!" rocks, and "Goodbye" is as quietly hypnotic as it's supposed to be. When David Thomas starts off crowing "It's me again!" he's not really boasting--he's hitting us with the very best he has to offer. A-