- She and me fall together in free death
- Black is the colour of my true loves hair
- Chicken Concrete (For Missy E.)
- Gusset Typing
Only a few months after the release of 'Salt Marie Celeste' comes this vinyl only release on the American label Beta Lactam Ring records. The release coincided with a Nurse meet and greet in Portland, where merchandise and signed material was available. This is without doubt a superb return to form after the slight disappointment of 'Salt Marie Celeste' and the Horse hospital CD. Also apparent is that this is Nurses most ďmusicalĒ album ever.
The first side of this LP consists of the title track, a slow driving drum beat, and layered guitar workout that lasts around twenty minutes. Itís hypnotic krautrock groove is augmented by various metallic drones and what sounds like a didgeridoo. After a few minutes some mantra like vocals from Stapleton appear in the background. The whole thing is quite trance inducing and very, very trippy.
The first track of the second side continues with the new musical theme with 'black is the colour of my true loves hair'. An ominous drone and bells intro leads into the slow rhythmic strumming of the songs main melody, and itís accompanying harmonic drones and piano. Most striking about this song is that it includes the first ever sung vocals from Stapleton himself. The vocals are very nice and complement the songs trippy/dark atmosphere. A female voice (probably Lilith Stapleton) pops up at a couple of moments to repeat various lyrics. Although this track has a very song based structure the use of the bells, drones and effects keeps it well within the Nurse sound.
The third track is fantastic, fans of old Nurse material will lap this up. 'Chicken Concrete (for missy E)' is a cut up, collage, noise fest the like of which has not been seen from Nurse for over a decade. Lots of chicken chirps and scratches and lots of warped tape cut ups and dialogue passages. Thereís a lot of deranged electronic manipulations of crashes, effects and drones, and what sounds like carnival music. Itís quite difficult to take it all in at the first listen, itís very layered and complex. In the distance is the tape collage of people doing various things, where up front in the mix is all the effects and manipulations. There are some funny moments as always. Samples of monkeys, and other random hilarity in the Nurse tradition. I must add this is some of the best production Iíve yet heard from the band. Brilliant stuff.
The final track 'Gusset typing' created a unique moment for me. For the first time I turned down my stereo worried about someone hearing what I was listening to. This was basically because this track contains a very explicit testimony of a woman masturbating. Including background moans and groans. Itís quite amusing though that the womanís voice has been put up a few octaves to sound like a Smurf or something. So this comes across like a deranged phone sex conversation for little blue dwarves. (hehehehehe). The accompanying music is very nice and drifting. High pitched sweeps and drones and some light mechanical rhythms. It all builds to an orgasmic crescendo (at least for the woman anyway) and the track fades out signalling the end of the album.
What this release demonstrates is that after nearly twenty-five years of work Stapleton is still capable of raising the bar for experimental music while delighting existing fans. Without doubt one of Nurses finest post eighties releases.