Alternative Press (10/99, pp.105-6) - 4 out of 5 - "...a moodier, artsier record, with more experimental tracks...and less outright boogaloo madness. It's still vital to continued spiritual health, though..."
Personnel: David Thomas (vocals, flute); Tony Maimone (guitar, piano, organ, background vocals); Tom Herman (guitar, gong, background vocals); Allen Ravenstine (piano, synthesizer); Scott Krauss (drums, percussion).
Photographer: Mik Mellen.
Pere Ubu's third album, 1979's NEW PICNIC TIME, is probably the most underrated album of Ubu's original incarnation. Neither as wildly aggressive as the previous THE MODERN DANCE and DUB HOUSING, nor as compellingly avant-garde as THE ART OF WALKING and SONG OF THE BAILING MAN, NEW PICNIC TIME is the one Ubu album that actually sounds like the artist most often invoked in descriptions of their sound, Captain Beefheart.
There's a definite blues influence here, mostly thanks to noisy guitarist Tom Herman, who plays like a member of Beefheart's Magic Band as singer David Thomas works through his increasingly religiously themed lyrics in a variety of vocal styles. Mayo Thompson replaced Herman after this album, leading Ubu into even less accessible arenas. Due to its variety and relative normalcy--relative being a key word--this is a good introduction to early Ubu for the neophyte.