If Brian Wilson’s melodies rose higher and higher towards Heaven, Nurses’ are like a series of bottle rockets, shooting unpredictably and mostly upwards. In fact, there’s nothing predictable about this group, other than the expectation of unpredictable rhythms. They lend a feeling a world-music to this already vaguely psychedelic angular garage rock band, and “Dancing Grass” captures this perfectly, with its unique, almost industrial take on reggae.
The vocals on Dracula seem to exist at a midpoint between Tom Verlaine, Mike Love and Sting, providing the sometimes careening instrumentals with equally meandering vocals. The bass pops or slithers through the songs (“You Lookin’ Twice” and “Trying To Reach You”) while guitars chime as though through a mist, never reaching the heaviness of treble found in songs by The Byrds or R.E.M. What this band manages to evoke is probably the closest thing to true originality that is still possible in indie pop. Sure, there’s much in the sound that points to fairly recognizable influences, and for this group, that means much in the way of bands and artists from the 1960s, but Nurses nonetheless turn it around into something that’s theirs.
While not a modern masterpiece, Dracula is a testament to the talents of a young group. And with this kind of promise, Nurses have the potential to bring their peculiar, but accessible style of psychedelic and angular garage rock to a much wider audience.
Stream: Nurses – “Fever Dreams”