It’s 20 October which means just one thing at Reckless Yes HQ – Unqualified Nurse Band Day!
That’s right, this date was the release for the band’s debut LP Debasement Tapes in 2016 and their follow up album Trashland in 2017. Currently working toward their third album – by recording and releasing tracks as they go – their first two offerings are a phenomenal whirlwind, tearing rock n roll history apart and bringing it back together in ways that continually surprise.
Based in Derby the three-piece are Chris Jones, Mark Jones and Andrew Foster. Chris started Nurse as a solo project originally but quickly built it out into the band’s current line up (and you should check out Chris and Foster’s previous bands Ghost Twins and Crushing Blows plus Mark’s solo project Azzurro Peaks).
We’d heard good things about them but when we had them come and play our first ever Six Impossible Things show they blew us away. A tour de force where they played 11 songs in 30 minutes without a setlist but seamlessly moving between tracks while also bouncing off the walls and amps in our small space. They were – they are – rock n roll personified.
Debasement Tapes was a wonder too – touching the half hour mark it tears apart 60 years of rock n roll refusing to play by any rules but their own to blend styles and tempos into a record of complete shock and awe. Fast, furious and endlessly melodic this is a debut born of strong and vital creative direction and a band dynamic forged over a lifetime playing together.
Scoring a 9/10 from Louder Than War magazine (and coming in at 47 in their online chart of the best albums of the year) the record was described as “…fast, intriguing and bloody loud! A thrilling and ear-shattering debut” while Team Rock / Louder described it as a, “…menacing swirl of the late, great Groop Dogdrill’s swagger, Nirvana’s noisy pop nous and streaks of East Bay Ray’s shimmering surf guitar.”
Praise kept coming with Hidden Herd saying it was a, ““…a heady mix of early Cribs, The Fall and New Wave hooks…” and Words and Guitars summing it up with, “They’ve said it themselves: they could’ve written a whole album of sub two minute punk manifestos of anger, but what would be interesting about that, when you can dissect the history of rock’n’roll instead. When you can crowbar dirty bitch guitar hooks and angular new wave, boogie woogie and surf pop sensibilities onto a bench with the metal fat bastards, why settle for being one thing?”
It paved the way for second album Trashland (via a chart-bothering double A 7″ single for Too Pure Singles Club) which kept the vitality and distilled it into a cohesive, almost conceptual, album. In this record the band set out to prove the format could still be relevant in the digital age digging into deeper grooves and spinning out those relentless melodies.
Praise for this album too was high where among others Loud & Quiet scored it an 8/10 and said it was, “energetic, rampant, exciting rock’n’roll, as UNB spend their second time around fusing ’60s girl groups, late ’70s punk, ’80s new wave and ’90s grunge into a multi-headed fantastic beast.”
We can’t wait for more from this band – not only great music but creative minds who are crafting a vision around their work and not playing to anyone’s game but their own. If you get a chance to see them live then grab it with both hands and if you don’t own these records put that right straight away – cult classics in the making.