- [untitled part one]
- [untitled part two]
Im not such a fan of old Whitehouse in the way I love old Nurse records, so I was a bit dubious about this release. I think it drew my attention due to the wonderfully over the top psycho-sexual artwork. However the combination of Nurses surreal experimentalism and Whitehouse’s brutal electronics was an interesting prospect. But the truth is, im not hugely impressed with this.
At first I thought the problem was that both bands seem to be trying to do impressions of each other, but I later learned that in fact the bands played on each others sides, and that when it came to making the final mix, William Bennett (Whitehouse) basically whacked everything up to ten, completely obliterating any of Nurses subtlety. Apparently this was a gripe between the two groups for quite some time afterwards.
Nurse provide the first track which bares little resemblance to any of the bands output at the time. The track is heavily layered in reverb and uses much more distorted and angry sounding production than other Nurse work. It comes off as being much more Whitehouse than Nurse with wound. The metallic percussive elements are smashed around with such force that the subtle workings in the background are almost completely obscured. There are some heavy piano chords and the occasional use of the weird screechy objects heard on other Nurse releases of the time. But the whole thing seems designed to be more full on, less subtle, and as a consequence comes across as a bit of a blunt instrument. And when the hysterical screaming comes in after about ten minutes your left wishing Stapleton had teamed up with Phychic TV rather than Bennett’s bunch.
On a more positive note the track does become a lot more interesting after the first eleven minutes, with some more clever techniques being used and some better use of the over reverbed production, although the screaming is still very silly.
The Whitehouse part of the album however is for the most part very much like the Whitehouse material of the time. High pitched angry screeching, with William Bennett's mad lyrical outcries over the top. But they also seem to have been trying to incorporate some percussion and non electronic sounds into the mix. When I say percussion I don’t mean beats or even rhythms it just sounds like their smacking some metal pipes around the place. Unfortunately it’s not as engaging as much of the Whitehouse material of the time, there’s none of the raging socio-sexual-political rants, I cant even tell what he’s yelling about, which is a shame.
All in all a rather odd release for both bands, probably seemed like a good idea at the time, both bands were very young back then, but now it seems a bit low brow compared to what they’ve gone on to do.