“I think I know what this means……”
But do you? Do you really know what this means? The feedback-drenched, distorted hand-round-your-neck throttling that is ‘100 Beats’, before ‘Getting Sweaty’ beats you mercilessly into a bloody pulp and you wake up dazed, battered and bruised. Where are your eyes? Where are your boots? “Your boots are shakin’.”
This is the opening salvo from Unqualified Nurse Band‘s debut, not a physical assault by a meat head Neo-Nazi thug (although the results are somewhat similar). You aren’t quite sure what’s happened, but it’s over quickly. Are they about to return with a baseball bat? Yes! Quick! Run! ‘Growing Down’ isn’t going to quit anytime soon. Oh, wait a second – it has. No sooner has it arrived, it’s fucked off again, but not before spitting and screaming in your face.
‘It’s Inevitable’ leaves you staggering home, visibility poor through beer goggles and swollen sockets, a pounding in your head. A slow death. ‘There’s No Stopping Fate’. You’ve poked the demon, goaded the beast and you’re now facing the consequences, shrill ‘Ghost Town’ guitars as your funeral march. “GET OUT OF LONDON!” say the voices in your head, the conscience on your shoulder. “LOOK AT YOURSELF!” ‘Two Black Eyes’ – and you deserve them.
Described as the last 50 years of music condensed into about half an hour, Debasement Tapes isn’t far from the truth. Blues fed into Rhythm and Blues, into Rock’n’Roll into Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Prog, Glam, Punk, New Wave, Indie; Unqualified Nurse Band do it so damn well.
They’ve said it themselves: they could’ve written a whole album of sub two minute punk manifestos of anger, but what would be interesting about that, when you can dissect the history of rock’n’roll instead. When you can crowbar dirty bitch guitar hooks and angular new wave, boogie woogie and surf pop sensibilities onto a bench with the metal fat bastards, why settle for being one thing? Why just snot green or sloppy puke when deep purple, crimson red and silk cut are close at hand too?
As enthralling as it is terrifying, if Danny Boyle is after a one band soundtrack to the Trainspotting sequel, here it is. Down those back allies, amongst the empty cans, used needles, floppy condoms, crisp packets, fag ends and shopping trolleys are dropped twenty pound notes and golden nuggets. Go and have a look. You’ll get your head (virtually, in both senses of the word) kicked in, but you’ll go back for another round.