Dub Housing is the second album by American rock band Pere Ubu. Released in 1978 by Chrysalis Records, the album is now regarded as one of their best, described by Trouser Press as "simply one of the most important post-punk recordings."The title is an allusion to the visual echoes of blocks of identical row houses in Baltimore, presumably reminiscent of the echo and reverberation that characterize dub. "Dub" is also a reference to Jehovah's Witnesses, who refer to themselves as "Dubs". Lead singer David Thomas was a Jehovah's Witness. On a 1979 concert bootleg recording, during the song "Sentimental Journey," David Thomas ad-libs the line "I live in a dub house!" The photograph on the cover shows the apartment building at 3206 Prospect Avenue near downtown Cleveland in which members of the band lived when this album was recorded.Wikipedia
Weird, disorientating, talking heads on acid, on acid. Thriller! made me feel ill but somehow put a smile on my face. Actually the whole thing gave me a headache, does anyone have a Panadol? I imagine seeing them live would have been an absolute trip. Edit - just realised I accidentally listened to it on shuffle the first time. 2nd listen in sequence made a lot more sense but did not help the headache. Happy to discuss my five star rating with anyone who'll listen.
It's tough to know what exactly to think about this album. It's weird and cool. There are certainly moment where I get into it. It's not something I see myself going back to because there's not much about the album that I find really engrossing. Caligari's Mirror is a notable highlight. I can definitely see how it is influential in what came after it. 3/5
I think it really says something about a record if you have to pause occasionally to see if the sound you're hearing is the music or a truck backing up. (It was a truck backing up.) This record is squeaky and squonky, clickety-clackety-chrunchety. The vocals aren't exactly singing, more pitched shouting that reminded me of my Granny a lot of the time. I can't imagine the day when I will say, "You know what I'd like to hear today? Some Pere Ubu." But I did find this interesting, a unique listening experience. Kind of like getting a routine MRI (I get one every year) --- I don't really like or enjoy it but it's fascinating and there's only a tiny bit of pain and fear involved. And now I have to give it a rating from 1 to 5 and pretend that the experience of music is somehow one-dimensional, as though I could nestle Pere Ubu somewhere between Portishead and Leonard Cohen instead of on some other scale entirely.
Nope. Not doing anything. I generally thought I like post-punk, I mean, I like (some) Talking Heads songs. But this was a chore to get through. I didn't enjoy listening to it at all. Some acid trip of pseudo-intellectual noise that has no defined structure at all. I understand that is the point of the album, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. 1.5/5.
Yeah I was kind of liking parts of it, sonically really weird, and parts of it where you can see they could be a good, straightforward band, but they are choosing not to Obvious influence on Devo Pretty brave and very weird
I'd never heard of Pere Ubu before but they definitely peaked my interest with this album. The lyrical style is borderline ridiculous but I liked it in parts. Some songs feel like an early unpolished version of the Pixies or similar. Another album which, if it came out today, I might not care for but the fact it was made in the mid 70s makes it much more intriguing
this was fucking weird I love it 😙
I simultaneously love this, and I'm not fussed if I hear it again. A joyous cacophony. It's brilliant, they're making post punk a year before journalists think punk broke. It's a four star album, but due to the stupidity of a lot of the reviews on here already I want to give it 5 to correct their efforts. Stupid eejits probably think The Eagles are 'real music'.
Post-punk bangerz. I really like the combination of the blunt synths and the jagged rock instruments. Sad that this is in the lowest ranked albums on this site. Shows what the masses know, I suppose
Swerved erratically between great and rubbish
An interesting birthday gift, that's for sure. Extremely weird music, in ways that don't always work. Wikipedia calls this a seminal post-punk album. I'm not sure what I thought post-punk was, but I didn't have this in mind. I will give some credit though, some of these songs are pretty catchy and enjoyable, despite the weirdness. Maybe I'm just happy to have an American band for once. I don't like this overall, but I will say it sounds WAY newer than 1978. Favorite tracks: Caligari's Mirror, Pa Ubu Dance Party, Drinking Wine Spodyody. Album art: As much as I usually don't like black and white covers, this one is pretty nice. Looks very foreboding with the rows of disembodied windows. Getting Rear Window vibes. 2.5/5
First half of this didn't catch me. It felt like a lot of post-punk, experimental and awkward or jarring to listen to. I got excited about it around "I will wait" and found some fun sounds in there. Other songs like "(Pa) ubu dance party" and "Codex" got me excited with interesting intros, my excitement faded everytime they got into the meet of a tune. Codex especially was a bummer, because the intro riff feels like a perfect noodle to build a dark metal song around.
My expectations for this album started off strong, but much like most Pere Ubu songs, finished in disappointment. This is the type of avant post-punk that makes people, like Emily, write the whole genre off. I really did like some of these songs. While the lead singer's voice was definitely off-putting at best, it leant some interesting accessibility to the off kilter music. Like this music is artsy and really out there, but this dude can't really sing and neither can I, so you relate to his sense of urgency in just trying to relate an idea no matter what you think of him. This did cause the overall enjoyability of many of the songs to suffer though because on the flip side his voice could really get in the way of enjoying a good groove the band had going. I really flip-flopped on this record. I wanted to like it because I can hear its influences on some of the bands I like today, but it also was just so unlistenable at times. Definitely ahead of its time. I mean they had sea shanties in "Caligari's Mirror," and those are only getting cool now. This is a 2.5 that I really want to give a 3, buuuuuut...
How the hell am I supposed to rate an artist that intentionally does its own thing? What standards do I put them to? I pity anyone who has this as one of their first albums to rate. This is a "post-punk" album. A huge stretch on the "post." It's wacky and weird, similar to Devo or Talking Heads. In fact, the vocals sound like Byrne. Note this is an incredibly inaccessible album, and only fans of post-punk could even tackle something like this... after several listens. The tracks can be aesthetically pleasing, but it appeals to niche groups, despite having characteristics reminiscent of (almost parodying) pop music. These experimental sounds are made mostly by the abuse of synths that had only recently emerged and would late dominate pop music, so maybe that's what I'm hearing? But it also stems the busy, dissonant instruments that often clash, but it doesn't bother the audience. It works, and that's why people can appreciate it. But I'm not talking about whether it works. That just means it's not complete trash. This album serves more of an artistic purpose than as a piece of media to play on radio or at a party or to a group of friends without an appropriate introduction. In fact, the only people I would recommend this album to are people really into both post-punk and surrealism... they'd have to already like Talking Heads or Devo. Can we talk about the actual tracks though? I swear I could have written this by only listening to the first two. Ok fine, here goes. So "Navvy" starts out good then the record scratching then bellowing indicates we're in for a surprise. It's melodic but the record scratching effect can be found bothersome. The overall production is otherwise fine. "On The Surface" is a decent track; I like everything besides the vocals, even that background vibration that can be found to be again bothersome. "Dub Housing" gets increasingly busier as the song goes on, and it only slightly lightens up when the vocals come back. That bothers even me. But I like the end, especially the brass. "Caligari's Mirror" has a nice gothic melody to it, but fuck those vocals... is it parodying The Rolling Stones? "Thriller" is interesting, reminding me of the aesthetic of vaporwave, but overall too conflicted to be pleasing. And then it gets into earrape. Then we get the most punk track on the album, "I Will Wait" which is probably my favorite. It's perfectly fine. In "Drinking Wine Spodyody," I like some ideas, but overall hate the sound and especially the vocals. Maybe I'm comparing the vocals too much to Byrne, who I think works really well with his music. Not here though. I don't have much to say about "Pa Ubu Dance Party" other than I don't care much for the sound... it gets annoyingly busy near the end. Then we get the fuzzy dissonant track "Blow Daddy-O" which I actually like. It reminds me of the Jesus and Mary Chain and shoegaze music of the late 80s and 90s. Kinda boring though since it goes for almost 4 minutes without any interesting shifts. The closing track "Codex" is fine. Works as an ok way to end of the album smoothly. Vocals still suck. Maybe a bit longer than welcomed. I was debating over what the final score should be. It could have been quite literally any number as I phased through the tracks and kept relistening. In the end, I'm settling it for a 2. Sure, niche people can like almost everything on the album, but there are a lot of problems that are near-universal. I'm not here to judge an artist's intentions. They can do whatever they want. But the problems I have impede on its overall quality too much to warrant a decent score. I may come back to the album if I'm feeling a little freaky, and I may recommend or play it if the opportunity arises. But yeah, this is a 2.
Wow! Ni sabía que existía este grupo y valió la pena muchísimo escuchar el disco. No crei que la música experimental se remontara a esos años. Excelente recomendación
Mystery music, and dance music. Somehow accomplishes the double feat of extending time and making you want to get up and move. On that first point: Sometimes succeeding in that way is more interesting than affecting. Here, the soundscape switches up to keep things far from boring. And the gesture at embodiment doesn't hurt, either. The vocals will have to grow.
Very interesting listen, and unique in the ways that it uses sound. This is what experimental music should be, a re-imagining of what you thought a “song” could be.
I was leery going in, seeing how low this album is in the global stats. But I have to tell you, I really enjoyed this. Probably what a lot of people are reacting to is David Thomas' atonal anti-vocals. If you can get past that, this album is a lot of fun. It's a gleefully freaky, noisy odyssey of warped, jangling guitars, squonks, blips, and shambolic rhythms. It reminds me at times of the Talking Heads, the Residents, Devo... but this band is totally doing their own unique thing as well. I like this more each time I hear it. Bumping from a high 3 to a 4. I may be in the minority, but I'll take Pere Ubu any day of the week over the overproduced, soulless music most people listen to. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): On the Surface; (Pa) Ubu Dance Part; Navvy; Codex; I, Will Wait; Drinking Wine Spodyody; Thriller!; Dub Housing; Blow Daddy-O; Caligari's Mirror
Honestly I can’t even say I LIKED most of it, but man, they sound like they are having so much fun and being absolutely unhinged without caring what anyone thinks, and that’s punk as fuck. It feels like an unhinged Talking Heads after dark.
Post punk. Rarito.
Talking Heads if they were bad.
Ew. This sucked. I cant stand his voice, sorry.
Couldn't get past the chicken-like vocals. Sounded like inter-dimensional cable in Rick & Morty. Instrumentals were interesting though...
Yikes. Somewhere between the Talking Heads and Devo. Some bits sound interesting. However his voice is like fingernails down a chalkboard to me. Enough. It's joyously art rock but not a great experience. 2 I'm afraid.
hardcore is one of my favorite genres, but what the actual fuck is this album
Anyone who thinks this 35min noisy, amateur ear-bashing is a landmark album needs help. "It's, uh, avant garde!"... yeah, nah. Spare me. I'm amazed I got to the end. 1/5.
Ubu’s dance party was the highlight for me. I can see why LCD Soundsystem name dropped them.
10/10 kinda sounds like it’s ripping off the Talking Heads (came out like a year after TH ’77) but whether or not it is, it still sounds really damn good and super fun I will take post-punk any day
Super cool Andy music, major vibes
dark and groovy post-punk, better than black midi
Abrasive, rough and epic
Like a dubbier Talking Heads on a bad trip. Only ever heard The Modern Dance by Pere Ubu before (which bangs), this is still pretty damn good - don't listen to the naysayers
I respect it for its influence and musical skill but this is literal clown music. Like clowns do shows at carnivals to this music.
That's what good album is about. You cannot predict what's coming next.
Not even Pere Ubu's best album. I love this.
классный инструментал бро
Weird and wonderful, but one I would probably enjoy more given the chance to listen through a few more times. Clear influence on lots of bands I love, maybe just a bit too out there for me to properly adore.
<<a banda mais importante do punk americano>>
Gift med pengarna...
A lot of variety.
Ranty, arty music.
Cool cover art
Unusual, but also a bit too chaotic
Godfathers of avant-garage/post-punk/art rock/whatevs being the Godfathers of avant-garage/post-punk/art rock/whatevs. Sonic experimentation breaking out into the occasional herky, jerky, jangly post-punk tune. Sold fuck all records but inspired a generation, that old chestnut.
Much better than dub step.
Not my cup of tea but interesting
This was unnerving and I kind of loved it. It took me a while to adjust to the vocals and I think the opening track is the most abrasive they are on the whole album, but there's a lot of versatility across the record. Post-punk as I've never heard it before, and it was a delight
weird and wonderful
I can't help but enjoy this. It managed to surprise and delight me at nearly every turn. I can see why people would be annoyed by the vocal style, but I think it's funny and entertaining. Has a nice layer of texture and atmosphere throughout. Underlying it all there is a true playfulness I find endlessly compelling. It's experimental but still manages to be fun. I'm a sucker for iconoclasts doing their own thing. So far ahead of their time I'm not sure we've even caught up yet. I kept wanting to listen to this over and over again, and it just kept growing on me.
Sounds way ahead of its time, the genre bending, the punchiness, the whole thing.
Brings back memories of the New Wave music I listened to in college in the early 80’s
Oj! Här har det krävts lite tid och ett antal lyssningar för att smälta allt och låta det MARINERA. Galen och rå post-punk, tydligen väldigt inflytelserikt. Och jag kan förstå det. Som en mer sinnessjuk version av Talking Heads. David Thomas röst är verkligen en sk acquired taste, men jag älskar den! Har alltid hatat sea-shanty-tiktoktrenden, så det var gött att höra Drunken Sailor bli massakrerad på ett så fantastiskt galet sätt i 'Caligari's Mirror'. I de mer experimentella låtarna, som 'Thriller!' och 'Blow Daddy-O', är det bara att blunda och ryckas med. '(Pa) Ubu Dance Party' låter som om bandet släpat med sig sina trasiga högtalare ned på stranden för en improvsession. Skränigt, men ändå med en så dansvänlig beat. 'Codex' är fantastisk, mörk, sårbar. Varje sekund är fullmatad och uttrycksfull. Det känns som varje bandmedlem har the time of their life (eller the trip of their life). Urcoolt. I've got these arms and legs that flip-flop flip-flop!!! Bästa låt: Dub Housing.
A riveting and strange album which I thoroughly enjoyed. But I can't shake the feeling this would be much better experienced live than on record
better than I expected, not sure why I expected like techno or some crap, it wasn't bad actually
Post punk, first track and vocals interesting. Not bad.
Some of it's a little too punk/shouty for me, but there are some fun sounds and upbeat vibes in here.
that one song with the muffled scratchy sound was painful
Dub Housing? Deceiving album name... Enjoyed it mostly, but pretty abrasive vocals. *Talking Heads
Not my kind of thing, but one of those things I can accept as good despite that.
I think I dislike it less than it deserves...
Demasiado raro para mi gusto
A wildly inconsistent album from one of the most influential American post-punk, art-punk bands around. You can hear the foundations of what many of those genres bands went on to explore but the album doesn't have the consistency personally to be considered as something that ages perfectly. It's worthwhile to hear how they inspired generations after them but again just not consistent enough to go back to the full length time and time again.
I like pere ubu but this sounded too disjointed
Was this eclectic and fascinating? Yes. Was this (likely) a pioneer for the genre it belongs to? Yes. Did I enjoy this? At times. It gets a 3.
well this is a weird and challenging listen but none that I think will prove worth the effort it demands from the listener. The lead singer's vocal style is well unique, lots of high pitched wails that match so well with the music. 3.5 stars is where I will start - let's see if further listening will earn it a higher rating
I bought an album by these guys in the mid-80s and thought THAT was pretty out there, but it was Culture Club compared to this. I noticed that the 1001 members haven't ranked it too highly: 994th out of 1001. I was thinkin' “1” halfway through the first track, but for me to go as low as 1, the music needs to bad and unoriginal, and this is anything but unoriginal - especially in 1978. I love the title track and The Ubu Dance Party. They could be a bar band in a David Lynch movie, with the eerie lead vocals and the campy background singers. Very avant something.
The first lyrics you hear are "I got these arms & legs that flipflop flip flop" which sets the stage for what direction the Weirdometer is heading. This album starts out weird but good - and it ends just weird. Songs like Blow Daddy-O make me wonder how their brains would decide to make these particular sounds. I get that they are purposely making their music ugly. I just don't get how they can figure out how to do it so well. It's a talent that very few have (and we are fortunate that not many others have it) Part of me is impressed by artists who create music that is so far from what others are doing. The songwriting skill in general leaves me perplexed, but this is multiplied for songwriters who write lyrics like: "I went out and stirred the air (My soup was steeped in strange ideas)" . I can at least imagine how Pete Townshend came to the place where he could write the lyrics to "My Generation" but I can't understand in any way how someone could come up with these lyrics. Finally, is David Thomas' (the vocalist's) voice really that bad? He got a job being lead singer in a band so he must know how to sing. Perhaps his singing this way is just another arrow in the quiver used to make the music ugly. Yeah the album's ugly but I kinda like it anyway.
Kinda neat. I can see how it would have been influential, but it wasn't a very fun thing to listen to.
Probably the strangest album I've gotten in this list so far. Interesting in some parts, but just plain annoying in others.
Well this is certainly interesting. When I first put it on I was not sure what to make if it but a strange zen came over me five minutes in and I stopped reacting and started listening to it. These songs have a lot of bizarre structures, instrumentation and vocals. At times they reminded me a little bit of Talking Heads but more out there. If I wasn’t told I would never have imagined it came out in 1978. It sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday. I guess this music is so unique it really never goes out of date… I listened to this a couple times. The second time went well enough. While I probably won’t add this to my library, I don’t mind hearing it and can easily listen to it again. Favorite songs: Caligari’s Mirror, Drinking Wine Spodyody, (Pa) Ubu Dance Party, Codex I’m glad something like this exists. I’m glad to have listened to this. I’m glad to know there are people who love this.
A bit mad, somewhat challenging, and yet highly enjoyable. Like a blend of Talking Heads, Roxy Music, Devo, and a little bit of Cardiacs. Wasn't familiar with them before, but interested to check out more of their stuff now. Wouldn't say I loved it, but definitely liked and, and feels like it could be grower.
This is super weird. Vocally not really interesting, in fact, it's kind of annoying. I don't hate it.... But that's not saying much. 3 because I can see how they were influential
Decent shit, hlustaði bara einu sinni í gegn og var svona hálfsofandi þannig þetta mergaðist allt saman hjá mér en það voru skemmtilegar melodiur og áhugaverðr hugmyndir, nennti samt ekki að hlusta aftur, kannski seinna!
Daban ganas de estar en el show de Pere Ubu. Gran canción de apertura para mostrar el espíritu del asunto. Me gustó.
Suprisingly good. Never heard of them before but it was well advanced for its time.
Chillin likt en villin
I've never fully got on with Pere Ubu's middle class anti-music though I really do love the last three tracks.
This is the weirdest album Iv had on this list in a while. I surprisingly enjoyed this. So great moments on the album but also some of this is unlistenable. Can see this being very influential on future experimental bands. Not sure I enjoyed it enough to make my regular rotation though.
I don't think bands that include performance art as part of their act cannot fully express their message via audio. It seems to me I'm only receiving somewhere in the vicinity of half of what they are trying to get across. Mostly what gets conveyed is chaos. Which, I didn't hate, but I feel like there was more I was supposed to experience.
Layered, but I think I prefer anything by Swell Maps.
weird as hell. it seems like black midi took a lot of influence from this. its definitely not something I'd listen to all the time but its interesting for sure.
Weird, seems like a band I’d have heard of but I don’t think I ever have. 1978 huh? I like the keyboard parts, makes it kind of fun to have catchy riffs on top of the jangly clashy rhythms. Good fodder for an eclectic mix tape.
Great music supporting an obnoxious asshole of a singer.
It's not as good as 'The Modern Dance' but not expecting a second Pere Ubu album to be in the list. Indie music in the late 2000s owes them a big debt and they've never got the acclaim they deserve. Saw them when they played that weird ATP at Altona (it was good but no Mt Buller) and they were great.
Fun and chaotic as usual.
Pere weird imo. Lots of dissonant sounds that never really came together, seems Talking Heads - esque but not quite there
Pretty unique sound for this time and place. I guess we'd call this Post-Punk. I've always heard that Pere Ubu was great and have almost gone and seen them live a bunch but never really checked them out. Very cool record.
It's weird. It's original. It's sometimes catchy and sometimes it's just dizzy. I liked it musically, and the vocals weren't so annoying that it grated on me. They get the third star for keeping my interest for an entire album.
Really interesting, knew nothing of Pere Ubu but was pleasantly surprised.
I'm eating a raw lettuce head and listening to Pere Ubu. My thoughts are this... can a ostrich kill an unsuspecting baby with just one look? Can a cow suffocate an unsuspecting baby with just one breath? Can a weary train driver on his way home from another long day of driving trains up and down, up and down, see into a baby's soul with just one wink?
flashes of good, flashes of avant-garde toss. mad that it came out in 78 though, seems like it should be early 80s so it was probably pioneering.