Returned to indie label status for their tenth studio album, Pere Ubu again made music in the style familiar from their earliest recordings -- staccato rhythms and noisy guitars backing David Thomas' disjointed singing of repeated, obscure lyrics. Typical was "Vacuum in My Head" (with some of the ominous tone of "30 Seconds Over Tokyo"), in which Thomas spoke-sang, "Vacuum cleaner in my head/It sucks up everything I know." The playing often had more delicacy and precision than early on, and Thomas varied his effects from mutters to shrieks. An acoustic guitar rendition of the Beach Boys' "Surfer Girl" was a distinct change of pace, even if its author, Brian Wilson, might not have recognized it in Thomas' performance. But Ray Gun Suitcase was an album for the cult of fans who delighted in the band's offbeat lyrical viewpoint and musical cacophony, which was just as well, since the more conventional orientation attempted in the late 1980s and early '90s did not pay off in an expanded following.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann