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The Residents The Ughs album cover
3.13 | 15 ratings | 2 reviews | 13% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Ughs (2:20)
2. The Dancing Duck (4:18)
3. Floating Down The Nile, Part 2 (5:48)
4. Squeaky Wheels (3:11)
5. The Lonely Lotus (6:12)
6. Rendering The Bacon (5:15)
7. The Horns Of Haynesville (9:58)
8. The Wondering Jew (6:04)
9. Charlie Chan (4:05)
10. In The Dark (10:22)

Total Time 56:13

Line-up / Musicians

- The Residents (anonymous)

Releases information

CD Mute (EMI) (2009)

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THE RESIDENTS The Ughs ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

THE RESIDENTS The Ughs reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by historian9
4 stars THE RESIDENTS return to instrumental side of their early work on this album. Plenty of acoustic instruments come again, harmonica, harps, flutes, probably violins too, and I assume there is some guitar bowing involved but it's just a wild guess, I do not know how they make the sounds they make. The album is more on the ambient side, so rather than stuff like in your face songs of "Fingerprince" it's leaning more on the "Eskimo" album, but the experimentation and electric guitars distance the songs from plain tribal ambient music (although as the album starts it's more industrial but it does get pastoral later on), and silent moments are loaded with percussions (and other weird sounds) rather then monotone gusts of arctic wind so that's a plus.

Some songs bring swamp/southern/country/night atmosphere about them, like "Floating Down The Nile, Part 2 " which begins with soaring guitars but then turns into very bizarre "Eskimo"-like chants in the middle (which I found strangely catchy even though the vocals sound like "Boots" from the debut ). Other styles are reminding me of japanese folk music, "The Horns Of Haynesville" and "The Wondering Jew" for example (something they did earlier with "Japanese Watercolor" on "Commercial Album"),"The Lonely Lotus" guitar maybe plays around to be indian sounding as well; last track "In The Dark" I find very similar in structure to "The Festival Of Death" on "Eskimo", a long 10 minutes track that with drums slowly ascends to a rewarding and beautiful end with guitars and flutes. Truth be told, only the opener (just a short intro) "The Ughs" and "Charlie Chan" don't make any lasting impressions on me, everything else is great stuff.

Definitely an essential "checkpoint" album for fans as this is like nothing they did in maybe 20 years, marking maybe another change in sound for the next decade.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
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.

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