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registered nurse - strippers

registered nurse - strippers (1999).

the nights are long
my credit's good.

Pharmacy Records boss Richard Andrew's been kinda busy running the label these days, but apparently there's a new registered nurse album on the way, too. about time ! by mid-afternoon, I'd had enough and retrieved the Big Headphones from my bag so I could sink into sound. After a few random tracks, one from this album showed up - cheese grater, with its stabbing guitar and heavy, distorted bassline - and it made me Feel AlrightTM. So alright, in fact, that I cancelled the random play and went back and listened to the whole album.

strippers starts with the insectoid swirly whine of background guitars of the captain and his gloves (once you start paying attention to the lyrics, you'll soon work out that the tracklisting on the CD cover's wrong, but never mind that), and it just gets better from here on in. While I wouldn't say the album actually rocks in the normal sense, it certainly moves back and forth between stasis and movement, between a careful acoustic-guitar-driven spanish song (is it possible to sing a song in spanish without using the word "corazon" ?), a loud and brash german one (complete with car-horn-like guitar work over the vocals, before it descends into a blissfully loud strum-fest for the chorus, such as it is), which seem to be the two extremes of the album, the rest of which is in english. By the end of the album, though, the vocals vanish and we're left with the title track, a loud, ringing western-tinged singular guitar cacophony, and then the ten minute closer, watching you waiting for me, which manages to work various themes from a couple of earlier tracks into a drawn-out sense of disconnected longing. But what's it like in between ? Guitar, bass and drums, a bit of a distorted twang between vocals telling of small town issues (especially related to leaving) or a downtown-in-the-city thing. and so forth.

I remember (guiltily) that one of the reasons I went back to listen to this album last year was because I'd happened to catch an episode of the secret life of us on TV one night, and they used ever so pleasant in a particularly downbeat scene, whereupon I thought "hey, I know that track, I've gotta go find it again", and somehow managed to a) remember who the song was by, and b) find the CD.

The first song on this album to grab me was moonlight vespa ride, with its bumpy bass behind a freedom-laden guitar sound that made you feel like you were going somewhere. again. and like the scud mountain boys CD I mentioned yesterday, I picked this up at Quality Music in Malvern. I'm still in awe of how much good stuff I've picked up here, especially when I paid (in this case) $8 for it. but one shouldn't question one's luck, I suppose.

When I finally got to see a solo performance of some of these songs in a live setting, he'd lost none of the sound (taking into account that it was just him and a guitar) and certainly none of the feeling. Through his own music, and through the music he's released on his label, Richard Andrew's proven himself to be one of Melbourne's great talents. Hell, he even drummed for the Scientists on their reformation gig in February of this year (to celebrate the CD release of Human Jukebox). Had I not been busy with birthdays and other things, I would've gone. If I'd known he was playing with them, I'd have doubled my efforts to Get Around To Going to see them.

The last time I saw a copy of this album sitting neglected in a CD shop, I bought it and sent it to a friend overseas, to Spread the Good Word. I'll do it again, and again, and again...

* 21:33 * music