The Double U

Glands of External Secretion

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    9
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More accurately entitled The Double U & the Glands of External Secretion, this inventive release consists of the first band, the Double U itself, performing 11 tracks on the first disc while the Glands perform their own unique "demixes" of the same 11 songs, in the same order. The result is entertaining in a quite unique way, as perhaps to be expected when cover versions of both Tchiakovsky and Ornette Coleman are assayed. The Double U's effort makes for an intriguing blend of low-key art rock and subtle orchestrations and additions, not making a huge fuss over what it does while still being clear this isn't run-of-the-mill indie. Some non-4/4 time rhythms, distinctly non-Western musical touches and melodies, strange singing pitches, and more make the band's efforts feel like something that could have come from Mike Patton's musical stable -- or would that be the Residents? The Tchiakovsky track, "The Sick Doll," is tenderly pretty, while other standouts include the semi-martial pace of "Cuisine of Northern India" and the dreamy, creepy psychedelia of "Mystic Rectangle." The Glands' reconstruction of the album takes the gentle edge-pushing qualities of the Double U and makes them even more so, eschewing straightforward dance or techno remix strategies for more chaotic collages and approaches. Enough of the originals are left in most cases to be able to pick them out of a crowd, but otherwise the Glands pump up quieter elements, kick out other ones, and generally rearrange the entire album to provide an equally fun and interesting listen. Highlights include "Yowgull," with a cheery horn section sample suddenly intruding into the initially murky flow of burbles, and the rumbling percussion clatter on "Emperor Jones."

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