• “Birdies” set to a picture of the housing album cover. Thanks to Cooking Vinyl Archive.
“Great Post-Punk from the USA”
From their album “The Art Of Walking” (Rough Trade ROUGH-14), released in 1980.
Pere Ubu have never been an easy ride, but I’ve heard enough over the years to convince me to hang on in there, despite the heavy disconnection I often have with their avant-jazz wanderings. The bounty wasn’t quite so plentiful on “The Art Of Walking” but there were certainly a handful of fine cuts, including today’s selection.
Stewart Mason of AllMusic posted this really neat song review:
“Birdies” is arguably Pere Ubu’s best-known tune — to non-fans, anyway — thanks to its inclusion in the cult concert film Urgh! A Music War and the film’s accompanying soundtrack. That live version, which features some truly remarkable yelping from David Thomas in full art-punk mode, is more energetic and sloppier than the comparatively controlled studio version that’s a highlight of 1980’s The Art of Walking, but in either incarnation, “Birdies” is one of the best songs Pere Ubu recorded in their often underrated Mayo Thompson period. Combining the implacable forward motion and obsessive repetition of the early “Heart of Darkness” days with Thompson and synth player Allen Ravenstine’s shared love of really weird noises and Thomas’ increasingly cartoonish lyrics and vocals, “Birdies” is the best of both Pere Ubu worlds.
You can check my favoured album reviews from 1980 here.