20 Years ART
  • 20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo
  • Monkey Bizness
  • Funk 49
  • Prison Of The Senses
  • Toe To Toe
  • The Healer
  • Swampland
  • Plan From Frag 9
  • Howl
  • Red Eye Blues
  • Walking Again
  • I Can Still See
  • Cold Sweat


Pere Ubu
20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo

Released September 29 2017.
Produced by David Thomas.

Cherry Red Records:
CDBRED708, cd
BRED708, lp

Release Notes

Alot of the work on the album was inspired by photos of a Russian missile base that's been opened as a tourist attraction.
"When the work began to drag I was reinvigorated by studying this photo, taken in a former Russian missile silo. It's a bunk where a missileman would have slept. I was especially moved by the hot plate seen at the bedside. I found it to be poignant. The photo is courtesy of a fellow who goes by the name of 'The Wandering Scot.'" missile-scott
David Thomas
The front cover art is a photo taken down the inside of the barrel of a seaside telescope in Brighton.

The album was assembled using the Chinese Whispers methodology. Steve Mehlman contributed many of the basic song ideas.

Production Notes

Produced by David Thomas
Engineered by Paul Hamann at Suma, Painesville, Ohio
Mastered by Nick Watson at Fluid Mastering, London.
Cut by Nick Watson on a Neumann VMS80
Design by Keith Davey at Altmark Creative
'Russian' photo courtesy of The Wandering Scot
'Hands' photo courtesy of Francesco Gentile

Pere Ubu (v.12.5)

David Thomas - vocals
Keith Moliné - guitar
Gary Siperko - guitar
Kristof Hahn - steel guitar
Darryl Boon - clarinet and more
Robert Wheeler - analog synths, theremin
Gagarin - digital synths
Michele Temple - bass
Steve Mehlman - drums, and more

Guest Performer
Roshi - vocals to 'I Can Still See'

Press Reaction

"Famously the only constant in Pere Ubu is Thomas himself, and yet from the opening Monkey Bizness, 20 Years... feels like recognisably the same band that recorded classics like Final Solution and Modern Dance... Angular but well-rounded; Pere Ubu remain as paradoxical as ever."- William Pinfold, Record Collector

Five stars - "The record contains nasty little punk songs." - Albert Koch, Musikexpress

"There's no waste on 20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo, and there's no chaff, either: for all its experimentalism, it's a tight, taut and lean album overall. It's also really rather good, and an album that shows that even after more than four decades, Pere Ubu can produce music that's more thrilling than the majority of contemporary acts." - Christopher Nosnibor, Aural Aggravation

"And when its all over, you've heard a truly authentic voice." - Blow Up

"Where the likes of Black Keys have brought garage-rock to the Enormodomes and Radiohead have dragged the alternative into the stadiums, Pere Ubu have reined both in and rather than smooth out the edges, they have sharpened the edges' serrated teeth." - James Fleming,


More reviews

Stereo Embers Magazine, Dave Cantrell, "Pere Ubu, sans hyperbole, are, by virtue of 20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo, hereby drafted in to that rarefied group bound together beneath that ultimate i-fronted adjective, immortal."Click here

Ink 19, Bob Pomeroy, "It's amazing that any form of Pere Ubu is active after all these years. It's even more amazing that they're still producing vital, challenging music." Click here

Magnet Magazine, Eric Waggoner, "20 Years frequently sounds like the best sort of Pere Ubu: brainy, funky, dry and sly in its copious wit." Click here/, Andrew J Duncan, "The album sparks up parboiled & distilled into blastism, the first four tracks Monkey Bizness / Funk 49 / Prison Of The Senses / Toe to Toe vrooming by like train window glimpses or flipbook confessional, with the sudden punctuation of The Healer cuffing the wind from the lungs." Click here

RNR Magazine, Nick Toczek, "This wonderfully diverse album of haunting originality comes complete with wacky song titles and wackier lyrics all delivered via David Thomas' rich vocal tones. Pere Ubu: unique, inspired and inspiring." (print only)

Noisey (Vice Magazine), Robert Christgau, "David Thomas and a sizable contingent of old allies hunker down in a launch pad turned fallout shelter and bash out the most songful and physically powerful Pere Ubu album of our fraught century." Click here

Chicago Reader, Peter Margasak, "It's no longer particularly remarkable when a rock band continues to soldier on more than four decades after it started, but it's another matter when a group continues to produce strong new music rather than exploit nostalgia." Click here

Pasatiempo (Santa Fe New Mexican), Steve Terrell, "In fact, 20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo, by my estimation, is the most outright rocking studio album Pere Ubu has unleashed in about a decade, maybe longer." Click here

KCRW, Henry Rollins (Playlist 11-12-17): "I hope I'm not overloading you with some of the bands that we're playing every week, like The World and Pere Ubu. I'm just excited about these new records and can't bear to leave them out of the set, so in they go." Click here

The Arts Desk, Thomas H Green, "David Thomas' perennial Cleveland pre-post-avant-punk outfit still have the power to thrill. They remain brilliantly unpredictable but 20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo is a good one.Click here

Long Live Vinyl, "Pere Ubu have remained a persistently evolving experimental force. While many peers later in their career have fallen into heritage territory, revisiting past albums or trying to pry open the coffin of former glories, Pere Ubu continue towards the horizon with little regard for convention."

The Wire, Joe Muggs, "As a cranky comeback album, it's as welcome as the amped up reprise of Dr Jacobi as podcast prophet on Twin Peaks. A shovel, as it were, out of the shit., Heather Phares, "20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo's glimpses at life's unknowability are disturbing, affecting, and always fascinating -- and prove that Pere Ubu are as vital as ever in the 2010s." Click here, Leander Hobbs, "20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo sits comfortably at the Pere Ubu table as the main course of an illustrious career. Gorge yourself.Click here

Soundblab, Mark Moody, "After forty plus years of recording, amazingly the David Thomas led Pere Ubu sounds as relevant and iconoclastic today as they did in 1975." Click here

Classic Rock, Everett True, "The Pere Ubu sound predated punk (but it's not proto- or prog), and from the feel of it it might well see us all into our graves." Click here

Uncut Magazine, "Pere Ubu's punchiest effort since 1998s Pennsylvania."

Under the Radar, Stephen Wyatt, "20 Years to new listeners to Pere Ubu's sound should not begin here; however, if they do, they should embrace the experience and imagine a time when it wasn't a crime for musicians to risk everything--life and limb--to push humanity past religious, governmental, and societal conventions, creating new ways to think, feel, and act." Click here

Pop Matters, Spyros Stasis, "There is something electrifying about Pere Ubu when the band explores the standard rock form and interprets it through hooking choruses and bombastic verses... The short duration of the tracks, about three minutes on average, and the fantastic guitar performances enhance the experience, enriching the various twists and turns Pere Ubu travels." Click here

The Vinyl District, Joseph Neff, "A record that barrels forth refreshingly free of premeditation and over calculation, as David Thomas and Pere Ubu instead just make a wildly inventive record while holding true to the humble credo 'we sell soul.'" Click here

LA Weekly, Henry Rollins, "The new Pere Ubu album 20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo is another great slice of David Thomas and the band." Click here, Brittnie Fuller, "Pere Ubu moved straight past Ramones-core, '77-style punk and helped pave the way for post-punk's admirable idiosyncrasies." Click here

Penny Black Music Magazine, Eriick Mertz, "Pere Ubu has always been adept at capturing a universal sensibility, some songs just timeless." Click here

CityBeat, Brian Baker, "Even as Pere Ubu approaches Rock redemption on its own terms, there are still some wild sonic mood swings on Montana Missile Silo. That will always be a component of the group's creative DNA." Click here

Richmond Magazine, Craig Belcher, "The Cleveland unit sounds as energized and in-your-face as it has in years on '20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo,' its latest release." Click here

The Agit Reader, Video Of The Day, November 10. Click here

Medium, Thomas Gerbasi, "At 64, Thomas is as vibrant as ever, and his music continues to follow suit." Click here

Record Collector, William Pinfold, "Pere Ubu remain as paradoxical as ever." Click here

The Independent, Andy Gill, "It's the most animated Ubu has been in ages, with an atmosphere of vertiginous dark energy accreting'..."Click here

The Afterword, Tiggerlion, "This is easily the best rock album of the year and yet another sensational Pere Ubu release to add to a long list." Click here

Dusted Magazine, Jennifer Kelly, "David Thomas and crew have sprung back into the vertiginous anarchy of their earliest days, with the fastest, hardest, rocking-eat set of tunes from Pere Ubu in decades." Click here

A Pessimist is Never Disappointed, Glenn Griffith, "20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo crackles with a uniquely American energy, the sort of fiery out there-ness that musicians routinely reached some decades ago. Thomas, a legend, manages to keep this sort of thing fresh." Click herel

The Arts Desk, Thomas H Green, "David Thomas' perennial Cleveland pre-post-avant-punk outfit still have the power to thrill. They remain brilliantly unpredictable but 20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo is a good one." Click here

Style Weekly, Brent Baldwin, "Writer Greil Marcus came close when he described it as the voice of a man muttering in a crowd. "You think he's talking to himself until you realize he's talking to you." Click here

Chronogram Magazine, Peter Aaron, "Pere Ubu's music sounded like it was from the future when their first single appeared in 1975. Forty-two years later, that's still the case for these Cleveland-born legends." Click here

Hudson Valley One, John Burdock, "I had to rub my eyes a few times and grasp at the leg of a table near me when I read that Pere Ubu had been booked to play at BSP. For a moment, nothing seemed real. That is the way this band has always made me feel." Click here, Jonathan Callahan, "Theirs is a dark, enigmatic sound that spills from the depths of a mechanized hell. In addition, they do not use typical song structures, creating a free jazz mood as elliptical as it is menacing. This is a band that goes for maximum weirdness and reaches it with aplomb." Click here

Other Languages Italian • German • Dutch • Czech * French • Swedish * Portuguese * Norwegian • Finnish

ONDAROCK (Italy), Gianfranco Marmoro, "20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo is the most authentically Pere Ubu album for a long time in this part, disturbing and dismal like the best."Click herem

Classic Rock (Italy), Renato Massaccessi, "Admire a free spirit that after all this time still has the courage to make records like that. Maximum respect."

Blow Up Magazine (Italy), Massimiliano Busti, "And when it's all over, there's a clue that you've heard a truly authentic voice. Get your hat."

Muchio (Italy), Fabrizio Zampighi, "(Pere Ubu are) people who, fortunately, continue to do what they like without thinking too much about convenience. 20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo is slightly more linear than the 2014 Carnival Of Souls, less variegated in colors and more focused on (three) guitars, but it is a good collection of sharp (musical) paranoia."

Rolling Stone (Germany), Alexander Müller, "Futuristic swamp and garage rock but also an age-old genius named 'The Healer' in which Thomas plays to the gently struck guitar: 'Oh and I see too much.' Convention done differently. Completely differently."

Weser Kurier (Germany) Lars Fischer, "This band stays on it with their18th studio album in the 43rd year a unique, refreshingly weird challenge."

Musik Express (Germany), Albert Koch, "Returning to their repertoire for the rest of The Noughties to occupy the ancestral position in the front row of the art punk rock avant-garde.*****" Click here

Good Times (Germany), Geff Harrison, "Just under 35 minutes, not a single one of which is boring."

Ox (Germany), Thomas Kerpen, "Pere Ubu are still such an immensely important band after more than 40 years."

Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger (Germany), "(Thomas) operates on the larger-than-life, unruly throbbing heart of this art-rock project. ****"

Neues Deutschland (Germany), Thomas Blum,"Pere Ubu, whose music, trained on artistically related artists like Captain Beefheart, is always attached to the future of the still Unprecedented."

OOR (Netherlands), Jacob Haagsma, "His imagination shoots in all directions as always, but these creative wanderings are packed very strongly this time. It must be a good place in that avant-garde."

Full Moon Magazine (Czech), Michal Parizek,"Pere Ubu are a classic and their new album does not change that...The hammer cuts the stainless steel."

Rock and Folk (France), Jean Emanuelle. Deluxe (3 page Interview/Feature)

Nöjesguiden (Sweden), Patrik Forshage ,"Pere Ubu has a unique ability to combine such components with their special avant-garde expression, and here they make it more convincing than decades." Click here

Blitz (Portugal), "The new work does not seem to yield a millimeter. Although the original mold that Thomas never tires of using is that of garage rock, the truth is that, in the creative boiler he uses, much more takes place: angular post punk, exploratory krautrock, mind-boggling psychadelics, exotic electronica. And everything is pure Pere Ubu. ****"

Sun Burns Out (Canada), Benjamin Berton, "20 Years in A Montana Missile Silo is a successful album beyond expectations. If the group is to die on this, it will be said of him that he lived well, well seen also, far and beyond the sum of days." Click here

Stavanger Aftenblad (Norway), Geur Flatoe, "Call it underground rock, >avant -garage, kunstpunk or whatever you want; The 64-year-old is still one of the toughest boys in the class."

Soundi (Finland), Arttu Tolonen, "20 years In A Montana Missile Silo could have been almost at any stage in the history of the band. Veteran bands do tricks and interesting records....It should probably not be possible to create a whole of everything, but Pere Ubu has a unique ability to combine such components with their special avant-garde expression, and here they make it more convincing than decades."

Monkey Bizness Video
by Kiersty Boon

Prison Of The Senses Video
by Kiersty Boon

The Healer Video
by Kiersty Boon

David Thomas, "Understand!"

Pere Ubu in Austin, Texas