Nurses - Hangin' Nothin' But Our Hands Down (Cover Artwork)


Hangin' Nothin' But Our Hands Down (2007)

Sargent House

One would assume that any band touring with the Rx Bandits must be talented enough to have caught their attention. It was no surprise that Chicago's Nurses put on a good show while getting the crowd ready for the Bandits, and their live show was good enough to warrant the purchase of their debut album, Hangin' Nothin' But Our Hands Down.

Just by opening the packaging, one can tell Nurses are a little different. A small arrow on the inside cover with the word "Lyrics" next to it show where to find Nurses' words. When searching for the lyrics sheet, one finds a little folded scrap of paper, and a plastic magnifying glass to use to view the miniscule writing on that paper.

When it comes to the music, the most obvious influence is the Blood Brothers. The beginning of "Alone at Last" bears a striking similarity to that of "Laser Life" off the Brothers' final effort. At many moments during the album, I expected to hear dual piercing screams, but was not hit with them, despite the fact that singer can do a decent job of sounding like either singer of the aforementioned band. This is important, as Nurses are merely influenced by the Blood Brothers, but do not copy them. The lack of screams and less complex arrangements can attest to this.

In fact, one can hear just as much Modest Mouse in the guitar work, and some of the middle songs like "Hungry Mouth" exhibit the rythmic nature of Fugazi. At some moments, the singer also exhibits a bit of a singer/songwriter quality, and throughout the album, the music feels incredibly honest. As you could expect from any band inspired by those three bands, the lyrics are difficult to decipher. The final song is a bizarre, acoustic number featuring a banjo and bluegrass influences, but it also has the most Blood Brothers-like qualities in the dual vocals.

Yes, Nurses are a little challenging, but they are enjoyable. I'm anxious to see how far they take their influences on their next release.