Nurses In an era when every band seems to spend more time designing merchandise and adding friends to their MySpace page than making art, Nurses have thankfully been losing touch with reality. As one listen to the CD can attest, their lack of convention results in an “instinctual” or dare say, “artistic” approach: “The songs we wrote weren't a reaction to anything, it was just the most natural thing we could do.”

Blossoming in the same arid California deserts that produced Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa decades earlier, Nurses join hands with bands such as Brainiac, Q and Not U, and Frog Eyes on the brave walk down the ultimate road least traveled: artistic integrity. All this despite being oblivious to all the aforementioned bands. “We've been compared to a lot of bands we've never listened to. It's flattering, but we never made an effort to break any rules. We just wanted to write the best songs we could.”

On the way to realizing their vision, Nurses were subject to the requisite amount of comical suffering. Even simply relocating from their hometown of Idaho Falls, Idaho to Temecula, CA was a 20 hour drive through rain and hail in an open topped Jeep. The foursome moved into a 2 bedroom cottage and shared clothes, one car, borrowed gear, and spent all their money on recording and touring. “For a while we were only eating throw-away food that we got from work at the end of the night.”

Through all this, Nurses have worked to create a sound built of strong melody and songwriting craft. “…And now the curse of Marjorie” has verse rhythm that will surely remind some of Kid A era Radiohead and a chorus piano “bounce” that Black Heart Procession might have written. “Hungry Mouth” has the traditional verse-chorus-verse structure, but also the uncommon melody palette that may remind people of The Decemberists or Arcade Fire. “(Wait for) a safe sign” opens with a verse that will make Q and Not U fans a little misty for the good old days leading to a chorus with a vocal hook that would give Freddie Mercury more wood than a men’s gymnastics competition. Despite the disparity of these comparatives, the album does not come across even remotely disjointed, but manages to be a complete artistic expression. “The album is held together because the same basic creative process made all of the songs. Aaron would propose a skeletal version of the chord changes and melody then we would all elaborate and transform the song into its final state.”

Hangin' Nothin' But Our Hands Down, recorded in 2006 in San Diego with producer Jason Cupp (The Elected, Valley Arena, Finch), is a welcome introduction to a band that demonstrates a mastery of disinterest in what everyone else is doing. As complex and realized as it sounds, the record was not the result of studio chicanery: the band actually pulls off all the songs in their incredible live show with all four members sharing singing duties, playing multiple instruments, and simply having a good time presenting their music. "It's important for us to play everything from the record live. The songs rely heavily on all of their parts and we couldn't imagine presenting incomplete versions.”

Once the album is released, the band plans to hit the road and do what it loves to do best, “We want to continue working hard at something we all love, writing and performing music we're passionate about.”