The new album by Pere Ubu 'The Long Goodbye' is the end of a road. David Thomas has been talking about Pere Ubu's journey on the road that passes Satisfied City for many years but he has now declared that they have arrived at the end. Named after Raymond Chandler's novel Mr Thomas says "This wraps up every song and story that Pere Ubu has been telling in different ways for the past forty plus years. It is one definitive hour that provides the answers to the questions we've been asking and delivers it up into what I consider the definitive destination."
This Pere Ubu album does not sound like any of the others. It has a large expanse of synths due to Thomas writing and arranging the songs alone with his private collection of drum machines synthesizers and uh a melodeon... before sending it out to the other musicians in Pere Ubu's extensive fold with invitation for them to take it on and make it more.
Gagarin and Wheeler took up the challenge and embed complex electronica into the multi-faceted landscape. Peter Jørgens' outré percussion adds a tribal dimension while guitarists Moliné and Temple along with clarinetist Darryl Boon complete this unique fusion of techno meets trad rock meets... the avant garage.
"I'd been listening to commercial pop radio non-stop for months" David Thomas says. "That's what I wanted to rewrite and reimagine. Pop music shouldn't be without meaning or truthfulness. We live in desperate towns and we keep on going regardless of the stench. It's not often you're gonna find the answers. If ever. But here is pop music the way it should sound."
'Montreuil,' the cd bonus disc
In December 2018 former band member Chris Cutler rejoined the group for a December gig in France. David Thomas Chris Cutler Gagarin and Keith Moliné played the entire album to a packed theatre in Montreuil Paris simply because they didn't want to play anything else - the new album had fired an enthusiasm in them that they didn't want to ignore. Considering they had only played it for the first time two days before and considering the tracks were not even finalised in the studio the concert was an astonishing feat that had the audience baying for more. This concert is included as a bonus disc in CD format. It is a fascinating insight into the first incarnations of the music and again shows how a studio album is only one view of the infamous Pere Ubu cup.
"Thomas speaks like a lonesome DJ broadcasting from a ghost town in rural America. There is no audience. Nobody but you is listening. You've tuned in by accident and find that you can't stop these tales of spiritual and economic decline from feeling both political and personal." - Shawn Ciavattone, Vinyl Writers
"A great circle of a band's story, which might have made its best album." - Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone
"The soaring dynamic and intimate dramatic end result is so powerful that it defies reason. Pere Ubu's The Long Goodbye is a 5 star hit of Avant Garage." - Jussi Niemi, Soundi, (Finland)
"The Long Goodbye has a sound all of its own, very modern, very original, and I feel this is popular music in the very best sense of the word, something we don't see enough of today." - Steve Earles, Hellbound
"The strange thing with the record is not that it sounds weird. Pere Ubu always did, and that's why they are so beloved (and probably sell so few records). What's truly bizarre is that, despite Thomas's opinion of the group that they're not a very good pop band, some bits are unbelievably catchy and stick to the ear like wax." - Hugo, Everything is Noise
"More than just a record, this last band work is an experience - hard and pure." - Lamberto Colpi, Deagostini Vinyl (Italy)
"Once again, Thomas can surprise you with an unpredictable and remarkable album and underpins his exceptional position as a musician." - Thomas Kerpen, Ox Magazine (Germany)
"A record that is both rebellious and catchy at the same time and Thomas' whimsy in full glory shows off unique, compelling tracks." - Eric van Domburg Scipio, Heaven (Netherlands)
"Because for thirty-eight minutes after 4 a.m., The Long Goodbye sounded like the album of the year. And, as it happened, I would not fall asleep until the break of dawn." - Good Art Bad WIne, Album of the Month
"It's deceptively simple stuff packed with a high density of intriguing incidental details." - Sean Kitching, The Quietus
"The record is of monstrous intelligence and daring. It is a record of extraordinary complexity. After three weeks of intensive listening it has not exhausted itself... The album works like a vision, a revelation. This gives it an obvious superiority over everything that has been done before. This is the manifestation of truth and revelation in the form of mystery." - Benjamin Berton, Sun Burns Out (France)
"The Long Goodbye feels more of a capstone to an arch built block by block over the years, but an arch to support what might come next. Thomas is a North American treasure on par with Waits and Leonard Cohen." - Mark Moody, Soundblab
"Is there such a thing as 'The Great American Novel'? There is an argument to be made that David Thomas, over 45 years and with assorted collaborators, has been writing that very thing and that The Long Goodbye is its final chapter." - Ed Whitelock, PopMatters
"As tsangled in shadows and slicing observation as Raymond Chandler's namesake novel, the album - layered in dense, pictorial electronics - evokes Ubu's early riff-driven reckoning in the electro-garage opener 'What I Heard on the Pop Radio' and the high-noon noir 'Flicking Cigarettes at the Sun.' The darkness and programming closes in even tighter as Thomas crosses a nation of ravaged landscapes and battered dreams in the long spoken fever of 'The Road Ahead.'" - David Fricke, Rolling Stone
"Pop for the Advanced. Exquisite to the end." - Alexander Müller, Rolling Stone Germany.
"In over forty years, he has written pages amongst the most beautiful and atypical of the avant-rock...solemn alien voice, jazz echoes, rough sips, gloomy atmospheres, hallucinations and restlessness. Moreover, Pere Ubu have never been 'normal.'" - Federico Guglielmi, Stone Music (Italy)
"I can't believe Thomas and his crew have ever bothered to listen to pop radio, despite Thomas' claims to the contrary on the press release. I mean why would they when they can come up with this glorious stuff?" - Rupert Loydell, International Times
"...an avant garde bastard in the best sense, which in its consequence comes close to the experiments of the Flaming Lips or Tom Waits at the time of 'Frank's Wild Years.'" - Good Times (Germany)
"The brilliant 'Flicking Cigarettes At The Sun' transports his band back to a sweaty CBGBs in the late 70s, with coarse synth lines and impenetrable Beat-inspired poetry." - Electronic Magazine (UK)
The vibes novelistic on this "end of the road" album... 8/10" - John Lewis, Uncut Magazine