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The Residents - The Ughs CD (album) cover

THE UGHS

The Residents

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.13 | 10 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars "The Ughs" is The Residents' 34th studio album and actually feels a lot more accessible with nowhere near as much strangeness and disturbia as "Duck Stab", "Third Reich and Roll", "Commercial Album", or "Freak Show" or "Mark of the Mole". Perhaps that is a good thing but I do enjoy the strangeness of the band and when it is given a better production and more studio trickery it detracts from the experience for me. All that is left is a lot of dissonant music and the occasional grunt or non-sensical vocal. I like the nasal Louisiana tones on other albums and the doomy synths but this album has little of that so doesn't even sound like a Residents album.

The first decent song on the album is Floating Down The Nile, Part 2, and don't ask where Part 1 got to as it could be anywhere. The Nile rhymes with Denial so could be an allegory about grief or loss, but you can never tell with these oddball eyeballs. Repeated sound sand musical motifs make up most of the song which wears out its welcome before the warbling flute chimes in. Squeaky Wheels sounds like a cart with a dicky wheel coming along. Very repetitive and quite a slog to get through. 'The Lonely Lotus' has a great squealing guitar in it and creepy violin slicing. The harmonica is a nice touch and the melody is strangely familiar; 'Love will tear us apart" from Joy Division springs to mind.

'Rendering the Bacon' has a twanging mouthbow sound making it sound like it comes from some country hick waiting to pounce on a city slicker. The creepy sound that follows is unsettling and then a percussion locks in with rather nice violin melodies. 'Hornes oh Hanynes' has a percussion and warblings along with a guttural death rattle like someone Cheyne Stoking on their death bed.

After this is the warbling of The Wondering Jew, and I have no idea either. There are some pastoral textures, birdsong, bush noises and minimalist guitars. The flute is subliminal. 'Charlie Chan' is really boring but is followed by 'In The dark' that is a native tribal percussion thing, lots or repetition but interesting. 10:22 of this is stretching the patience a bit but it ends on a mesmirising note.

A low point in Residents' extensive catalogue, that may hypnotise you to sleep, but I can manage 2 stars for the few decent songs.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 2/5 |

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