This five-song EP was about a lot more than music when it was first released in 1987 in vinyl-only edition of one hundred copies; it was as much a piece of art – with each record including two original paintings by Nurse With Wound mastermind Stephen Stapleton – as it was a piece of musical expression. Now Jnana Records has released this little bit of Nurse With Wound history in a CD edition, keeping the merits of the original intact by packaging it in a beautiful, solid-black gatefold adorned with more Stapleton art, and we can really pay attention to the music. While all five tracks have been released on various CD collections at some point, this is the first time they’ve been presented together in their original order. It’s about time, too, because this is classic Nurse With Wound. “Mourning Smile” creates a haunting, mellow atmosphere with foghorns and droning church organs before moving into more surrealist territory, while “Swamp Rat” is perhaps the quintessential Nurse track: random thumps, eerie giggles, mutterings, and dissonant scraping electric guitar. “Sheela-Na-Gig” is perhaps the most memorable, with its minimalist loops and layers of banshees’ wails, while “Shattering Man Falling,” a reworking of material from one of the project’s exceedingly rare live sets, is a found sound collage of whistles, vague industrial noises, and other aural miscellanies that pushes the boundaries of randomness and chaos without sinking into self-satisfaction. Whether you’re a diehard Stapleton collector in search of the beautiful art and packaging or a newcomer wondering what all the fuss is about, you need this.
Learn more at www.brainwashed.com/nww and www.jnanarecords.com
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