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The Residents - The Ughs CD (album) cover

THE UGHS

The Residents

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.37 | 18 ratings

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historian9
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Site Admin / JRF Team
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.

historian9 | 4/5 |

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