Pere Ubu Reviewers Reviewed

Guitarist Keith Moliné, also a writer for 'The Wire,' reviews Pere Ubu reviewers. First, his rant that inspired it:

"While obviously gratified that the critical response to the new Pere Ubu album Lady From Shanghai has been so enthusiastic, I despair as to how predictable, ill-informed and poorly written many, if not most of the reviews have been. Writers, let's get a few things straight: 1) Declaring surprise that the over 40s and 50s might be capable of producing worthwhile art makes you look patronising at best, moronic at worst. 2) The snide references to David Thomas's supposed hire and fire policies, suggesting a turnover of members on a par with QPR managers, is extremely irritating. Want to know how many Ubu members have left and been replaced in the last twenty years? Two. 3) The constant, I mean CONSTANT comparisons to 1978's The Modern Dance, as if the only way to judge a group is in relation to its previous work, make for incredibly dull reading, and in any other form of art criticism would be seen as evidence of an appalling lack of imagination and insight."

The review:

"While they can obviously never hope to write as well as they did when they penned their first Pere Ubu reviews, the critics tackling the new album Lady From Shanghai have done a far better job than you might expect from writers that have reviewed as many Pere Ubu albums as they have. Of course, these being Pere Ubu critics, their work is essentially incomprehensible, but stick with them and you soon realise that these are possibly the most well-written Pere Ubu reviews since the last time they declared a new Pere Ubu album to be the best Pere Ubu album since a Pere Ubu album released some time before that. What's doubly amazing is that they have achieved this despite working for editors who, rather like The Fall's Mark E. Smith, have a revolving door policy towards their Pere Ubu reviewers; indeed, in many cases they are the only original Pere Ubu reviewers left, beavering away in the face of mass indifference, producing Pere Ubu review after Pere Ubu review, all of which are, so to speak, 'always different, always the same.' (Except without the 'different' bit.)"

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