Scott McFarland | Manassas, VA United States | 12/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes he sings some lyrics about Jehovah's Kingdom on here (to the discomfort of other band members) ... yes they were on the verge of pretentious excess, caused by the singer's domination of the band ... yes some of the tracks here are so-so moody meanderings ...But the better part of this record is fantastic! I mean, good grief! Really unbelievable!I'm almost speechless as to how beautiful parts of this record are. I came here to say something, so I'll say that on tracks like the first two each member of Ubu is contributing to a strong, slightly bizarre rhythm that moves and grooves. I'll also say that Tom Hermann (who left after recording this) was a genuinely astonishing player and that he left the evidence all over this record. Highlights are the first two tracks and "One Less Worry"; those tracks make nearly all of the history of recorded music seem like a mere build-up to this."
It's Me Again!
Dave Rose | Wyoming, USA | 11/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"During the late '70's, a new Pere Ubu record was a huge event in my life. When New Picnic Time was released, I eagerly snapped it up and rushed home to listen. "IT'S ME AGAIN" blared through the speakers at ear-splitting volume. The grin on my face stretched from ear to ear. The Fabulous Sequel indeed! In the wake of Dub Housing, this is certainly a fabulous effort.Pere Ubu is truly a love/hate band. I've cleared parties faster than a half dozen cops could've by spinning a Pere Ubu disc. But the few who stick around to listen are saying "Wow, this is really cool, who's this band?"New Picnic Time is classic Pere Ubu. Buy it or better yet buy the Datapanik in the Year Zero CD box set."
Paul Ess. | Holywell, N.Wales,UK. | 10/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Pere Ubu's 'New Picnic Time' is to begin with, a startling rock music, joyously performed. The greedy and selfish critic would have you believe that this stuff is 'difficult' (ie beyond us plebs) therefore more relevant, but this is plainly not so. 'NPT' positively hums with good tunes and delightfully unforced spluttering singing, so why is it 'difficult'?
Obviously PU are one of those groups sure to make the critisorial elite and intellectual cognoscenti explode with (quiet) excitement; plunder the thesaurus in search of new and powerful superlatives to expound, theorize generically about PU (a dislocated but potent rock force), and their high positioning in the performance/art hierarchy.
Important stuff indeed, and about as useful as a viper up your trouser leg.
If you're going to stalk the periphery of this-thing-we-call-rock, then you might as well do it wearing great clod-hopping boots and banging a bin-lid. Such is the delight in the sheer audaciousness of people who loudly make a music that is worthy of anguish among the assessing minority. Themselves, through vast years of 'knowledge' and time-served at the listening booths and concert halls, take great pleasure in knowing better than us. Speak down to and not for us. This is a pop-group that needs retrieving.
So, if PU want to make albums, it's important they do so in this setting, and with half an eye on the immovable block of very little indeed, that hides itself from humanity, but is omnipresent in most that we see today. Looking at it from above, it's all shimmer and light. A true rock fan MUST dance with glee when hearing 'NPT', WILL celebrate ITS celebrating of age-old rock ideals of being madly original and (in a good way) experimental.
There's nothing safe about 'NPT'. It's a vast rebel yell of an album, more overt than a hundred Green Days; and the whistling, yelping of singer David Thomas is worth a thousand times the sycophantic posturings of a Bono.
The songs themselves are nigh on beautiful, but you'll get no indication from the extraordinary titles; you gotta submerge yourself in them. There's fast rockers, slow ballads, in fact, everything-in-a-cliché you could possibly want from a great rock'n'roll record. It's a kind of bellicose 'Marquee Moon', if you can imagine Verlaine and co, on stilts, heading to Kingdom Hall.
It's a feel-good album too. It can raise a smile with the best of 'em, without any of that strained attempt at forced fun you sometimes have to suffer. The same modus as good Capt B. only more mainstream, more streamlined. Initially, the songs SEEM to run round like headless chickens, but after repeated listening's (essential with ANY PU), they reveal themselves as very tight and stable; smooth as silk and easily as seductive.
In other words; this is a deep and vital music, worth every effort you need to make. Gladly unshackle your senses from the years of insidious and sideways abuse by critics, who despite prolonged extolling of its many 'difficulties', would dearly love to keep it to themselves.
They have no intention of giving PU up to the world. So smug in that hard-earned comforting impracticable, and safe on a higher tier of thought, it's one way they can sleep soundly in their beds."
Pere Ubu at its most improvisatory
Matthew Watters | Vietnam | 02/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the original line-up of Pere Ubu at its most improvisatory, nearly every song clearly built up spontaneously in the studio around some core musical idea. David Thomas riffing on words ("Dishes! dishes! dishes! All for love of you...."), Maimone's killer bass lines, Herman and Ravenstine working it out in the best free-jazz tradition. Although it isn't jazz at all. And then all the mounting but masterfully controlled tension is released with "Jehovah's Kingdom Come", Thomas' most beautiful pop song until the Cloudland album a decade later and the album's only truly "composed" piece. New Picnic Time falls almost unnoticed between more rock and blues-oriented masterworks like Modern Dance and Dub Housing, on the one hand, and the more self-consciously arty Art of Walking and Song of the Bailing Man, on the other. But it stands as Pere Ubu's singularly greatest work in this first period of their career. An incredible masterpiece."