Glands of External Secretion

Northern Exposure Will Be Right Back

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A bizarre and bizarrely wonderful all over the place collection of Glands mania, Nosejob should come with a warning sticker asking anyone who expects the slightest bit of cohesion to put the disc back unplayed. That's very much a compliment if you're into everything from teenage folkiness to full on chaos, and anyone thinking he or she has the artwork of Barbara Manning sorted out because of her solo and SF Seals work really needs to give this an ear and destroy some perceptions. Snippets of completely different and random performances are plopped down squarely in the middle of songs, edits are sudden and jarring, and things can jump from electrified mayhem to sepulchral spoken word just like that. And the thing is, it's great! Manning and Seymour Glass dig deep into their various archives to put everything together, and the whole notion of this just being an odds-and-sods collection is turned on its head because of all the editing and self-referencing. Snippets from rare Glands concerts crop up here and there -- a version of the kiddie song "Railroad" gets flavored with bits of a wholly different live take, while "Can't You See My Words?" and its feedback insanity are all there for the listener. There are a number of songs that are comparatively sane -- "P. Frankenstein," intro aside, is Manning playing and singing a wryly funny number with a muffled clarinet overdub. There's also more than a few selections from The Shattered Future, Glass' early-'80s radio show, sometimes in full and sometimes again salted into other songs, like the combination spoken word/atonal jam/who-knows-what "Something Bad in Front of Me." In the middle of all this is a cover of the early-'70s Bee Gees' song "Run to Me," performed by Manning and her sister on acoustic guitar at their high school in 1979.

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