Double U are a quartet from the San Francisco Bay Area that belongs to
the same iconoclast tradition as the
Residents and the
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 .
Absurd Fjord (Communion, 1996) introduced
a vocalist (Matt Hall) who croaks like Tom Waits, a guitar that meows like
Jeff Cotton's, a rhythm section that Frank Zappa would have loved
(Orange Catholic Bible, Great Deceiver).
Double U & Glands Of External Secretion (VHF, 1998) is a collaboration
between two of the most "unusual" bands of the San Francisco underground, each
band playing the exact same set of songs in its own way.
Double U steer towards prog-rock and psychedelia, adding tuba,
harmonium and organ to their arsenal.
Seymour Glass's Glands Of External Secretion, that released
Northern Exposure Will Be Right Back (Starlight Furniture, 1995) and
Reverse Atheism (Butte County Free Music Society, 2011), prove even more
March To Valhalla,
The Sick Doll,
Cuisine Of Northern India,
Green Light Go,
Bow Legged Horse,
Falling Lanterns (Emperor Jones, 2000), that features new members
Linda Hagood and Christopher Holden, is slightly lighter and more childish
in tone, frequently bordering on the vaudeville-ish
(Ghost of an Acrobat, Drunken Butterfly, Rickenroodle)
although mostly still in the wake of the Residents
(Beetle Lantern Bog Swap, Iridescent Sleepwalker,
Alligator Leg Stomp,
Ghost of an Acrobat,
Beetle Lantern Bog Swap.
The dancing guitars of Alex Behr, Linda Hagood and Matt Hall
prefer the languid, atmospheric tones on
White Night Floating Anchor (Emperor Jones, 2002).
Some truly inspired playing propels the deformed, bluesy shapes of
Bubbling Cactus Water and
Sheepo, evoking Jon Spencer in a serene mood.
The phantasmagoria of Metaluna proves that their forte is the
Their prog-rock ambitions are best displayed in the
Zappa-esque circus-music of Infinitesimal
(despite the irritating childish vocals)
and in Bunny Commander, which alternates kitsch-y melodies and
syncopated blues steps.
A stand-out in a different vein is
Valuable Duck Floats Through Lily Pond, a hushed ballad that introduces
a relaxed, laid-back, dreamy tone. By the same token, the instrumental
Companion deconstructs a simple, gentle lullaby.
The overall mood is quiet and subdued, with a notable exception in
Slow Down Tiger, which is slightly more propulsive.
Famous Strong Man Comes Out of Cave
Most of the album's power lies in the slightly atonal tuning of the guitars
and the disorienting way in which they interact (occasionally enhanced by
Behr's somnolent organ).
Relocating to New York, child-like vocalist
debuted solo with
the surrealistic cabaret of
Pink Love Red Love (Awesome Vistas, 2008).
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