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Hangin' Nothin' But Our Hands Down
Sargent House

The quartet Nurses have a fascinating story on their myspace blog (www.myspace.com/nurses) about how they came together and moved from Idaho to Southern California - a story that includes a team of scientists, tribal elders, ancient manuscripts, earthenware jars, and a Jeep. The adventures of Aaron, John, Bobby, and Charlie might just be getting really good with the release of their debut album on Sargent Records entitled Hangin' Nothin' But Our Hands Down. Produced by Jason Cupp (The Elected, Valley Arena, Finch), the album has the rock drama of My Chemical Romance with the dance-punk grooves of Sugarcult and the cabaret-pop of the Dresden Dolls. Their tones are cheerfully sprayed and sprightly pulsed with synth-pop fixtures reflective of Test Your Reflex and The Polyphonic Spree, casting a twinge of Brit-pop. The lead vocals contribute greatly to the song's dynamics with intonations that are partly show tunes/jazz and equally emo-punk versed. It is an album that absorbs many influences, which makes it a really well-rounded recording.

Tunes like "Lots Of Brass" and "He Gots" are suffused with clusters of vibrating effects and synth activity setting off shimmering tones which give the tempos an uplifting pull. The vocal fluctuations on numbers like "And Now The Curse Of Marjorie" and "Alone At Last" have an emo-lingo that draws the listener into its choir voicing. Energetic dance-punk rattles protrude through "Hungry Mouth" and "It Came In A Flash", basking in gypsy-spinning chord rotations. A show tunes/cabaret style shows up on "Wait For A Safe Sign" and "Way Up High" effusing a charming vocal swagger and delightful piano shimmies. The album moves into heavier tones on "Act Now, You're King!" with a series of low keyed piano notes and consistent drum taps that segues into two balladry selections. The melodic verses on "Dem Leaves" flow with a bluesy-rock softness while the country-folk chants of "Marching In Places" are sipped through funky vocal rhythms that enliven the melody's spree by stacking the vocal overdubs.

Nurses are definitely not just one type of music but a band with lots of styles and musical expressions which gives them a certain charm. There is an imaginative flair in their verses and a glint of emo and cabaret styles in the vocals. They keep their movements active, interesting and entertaining without being over the top or contrived. They seem to take as much pleasure in their music as audiences do which gives their music credibility. Whether audiences find the music flamboyant or ingenious, Nurses' album has a real shine that is catchy and fun.

-Susan Frances

Track listing:
1. And Now The Curse Of Marjorie
2. Alone At Last
3. Lots Of Brass
4. He Gots
5. Hungry Mouth
6. Wait For A Safe Sign
7. Way Up High
8. Act Now, You're King!
9. It Came In A Flash
10. Dem Leaves
11. Marching In Places

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