unqualified nurse band

picked up on a recent raid at Probe records and yes, I’ll be openly honest, our interest was indeed piqued by the band’s name, our curiosity only heightened several notches when we sighted its sleeve designed to look scuffed and slightly worse for wear. Happy to say the sounds within are similarly skewed, sometimes feral and on a different page from their peers, for here you’ll find a whole heap of rock-a-hula which at times really does swerve, duck and cherry pick its way through the finest moments of your record collection. Welcome to the excellently named Unqualified Nurse Band with their second full length platter, ‘trashland’ – a follow up to their debuting ‘debasement tapes’ which too much grumbling annoyance appears to have so far, manage to deflect the advances of our radar. Now I won’t deny that upon listening to this 6-track set, yes 6 tracks no fillers here, if it’s not worth being here, it isn’t, it’s also a rare pleasure that it’s only 30 odd minutes or so in duration, again meaning you’re not in the position of being forced to undergo some kind of cruel endurance test in an attempt to overcome what is essentially and killer EP worth of cuts from out of a 76 minute bore (I really do blame the onset of the CD for this). As I was meaning to say before we sent ourselves off road and down a cul de sac, what makes ‘trashland’ such an intriguing listen is that you can’t easily pigeon hole them, true its clear they know their way around a decent 60’s track list, both garage freakbeat and psychedelia making frequent cameos amid the grooves, yet likewise they appear adept at flashes of pure pop, often in this case found ricocheting when you least expect it from out of a sizeable moment of festering scuzzy noise gouging. Now if you were looking for reference markers, in honesty I wouldn’t bother searching, though I’ll give you this, it might be best having a few scattered albums lying around, say the odd one by Jumbo and the Crimea, oh and throw in a Mirror, Mirror for good measure and the Eskimos ‘something must be transmitted somehow’ as well as any Zombies release of your choice so long as its ‘odessey and oracle’. Now I’m not saying for a second that this album sounds anything like these recommendations, but it and they do share a creative kinship in so much as it and they all step aside from the musical rat race and dare to go their own way. ‘trashland’ musically speaking, covers a lot of ground, its positively head turning, their style is skewered onto a template that fractures at whim, manoeuvring at the blink of an eye one minute shimmered in a Spector-ised meets Flamin Groovies garage strut the next without warning scalded and scowling as on the very Sweet Apples-esque opener ‘Transplosion ‘. Each track here is a mini pop opera of sorts, the deliciously off kilter ‘nurses life’ manages to reframe the early Pixies vibe through the creative lens of Trumans Water (and the Eskimos) into the bargain cuing some nifty blues motifs. ‘trashland ‘85’ just oozes cool, its subtle 60’s noir twang phrasing indelibly high on a late 60’s frequency sitting somewhere between the Zombies and the Chains with the merest side serving of West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. With its foot firmly to the floor, the straight up close and personal ‘what a way to spend a holiday’ is liable to smack you into next week, its fuzzed fuelled gouging sweetly hoodwinked by moments of crystalline west coast pristineness while ‘what do people talk about?’ – possibly our favourite moment here, arrives ablaze in a glam tweaked 50’s bubble grooving that snarls, swaggers and shimmers with a power popping giddy up, managing in its finite 4-minute stay to ingest everything from the Beach Boys to the Skids including everything else between. Its left to the quite frankly epic 11 minute opus ‘If You Can’t Face The Facts You Don’t Stand A Fucking Chance’ to round matters out though not before committing you to a rollicking rollercoaster ride whose considerable and colossal canvas splinters and ruptures to glorious effect morphing and dissolving into elements of mind degrading psychedelics, prog, spacey trip toning electronics and Sabbathian oblivion all this regardless of the fact that the linking riff is possessed of a slight whiff of Spandau’s ‘to cut a long story short’ (cue the complaint letters). https://unqualifiednurseband.bandcamp.com/album/trashland

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