Double U and Glands of External Secretion

s/t (VHF 2000)

Disc One (Double U):

Disc Two (Glands of External Secretion):

I feel that this album has been criminally ignored for too long. It’s not one of my favorite things in the universe, but there is something undeniably alien and innovative going on here. Within these creepy-crawly rhythms, growled and mumbled mutterings and eccentric melodies are moments of beauty, albeit in mutant form. There are 2cds to this shindig. The first is a “proper” album by Portland’s Double U and the other includes a “demix” of the source material by Glands of External Secretion, a duo consisting of indie-pop genius Barbara Manning and Bananafish founder Seymour Glass.

The Double U consists of Matt Hall and Alex Behr and they had released their debut Absurd Fjord on the Communion label a couple years earlier. I believe this is their second album and it is probably their best work although the “demix” side is less inspiring. At times they sound like a more restrained Caroliner, but their biggest influences seem to be 70s era Residents and prog with a bit of Zappa and Morricone thrown into the blender. They even dismantle Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” and do a moody interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s “The Sick Doll” Both bear little relation to their birthplace, but both are reimagined in all their moody glory. Don’t be turned off by all of the fancy pants references, this is a soothing, indie-pop album at heart, but there is madness at work in the background. In fact, they would make good bedfellows with Bugskull, a similarly stoned mess from the same era.

The second cd is a “demix” and it is interesting, but it amps up the insanity in a subtle way. Less song-oriented and more of a meandering mess than its partner, the Glands’ take on Double U is more experimental and fucked up, but lacks the gruff charms of the original model.