Nurse With Wound ‎– Thunder Perfect Mind

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Cold 23:37
Colder Still 33:19

Versions (6)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
UD040CD Nurse With Wound Thunder Perfect Mind(CD, Album) United Dairies UD040CD UK 1992 Sell This Version
STREAMLINE 1020 Nurse With Wound Thunder Perfect Mind(2xLP, Album, RE) Streamline STREAMLINE 1020 US 2001 Sell This Version
UD 040CD Nurse With Wound Thunder Perfect Mind(CD, Album, RE, Dig) United Dairies UD 040CD UK 2002 Sell This Version
none Nurse With Wound Thunder Perfect Mind(3xFile, MP3, Album, 320) Not On Label (Nurse With Wound Self-released) none Canada 2013
UJ 809 Nurse With Wound Thunder Perfect Mind(CD, Album, RE, RM + CD, Comp, RM) United Jnana UJ 809 Canada 2016 Sell This Version
UD040CD Nurse With Wound Thunder Perfect Mind(CD, Album, RP) United Dairies UD040CD UK Unknown Sell This Version

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FemmaGenton

FemmaGenton

October 1, 2018
referencing Thunder Perfect Mind, CD, Album, RE, RM + CD, Comp, RM, UJ 809

Although Steven Stapleton's temporary retirement from music wasn't quite as quiet as one might have imagined - a slew of reissues, live recordings and compilations in the interim put paid to that - 1992's Thunder Perfect Mind was, nevertheless, the first proper Nurse With Wound album since 1988's iconic Soliliquy for Lilith, and thus had a lot to live up to. Throw in the fact that it was described as the sister album to Current 93's masterpiece of the same name, and the stakes were raised even higher. Thankfully, Steven Stapleton didn't disappoint.

The shorter of the two epic tracks here is the 24 minute opener 'Cold'. The track has been described as a pastiche and even a parody of industrial music, and that description works pretty well. All the pounding, chugging machine rhythms that define the broader idea of how industrial sounds are there, only accompanied by what sounds like a child aimlessly hitting a xylophone. It's Throbbing Gristle after eating too many Smarties. It's hilarious and irritating at the same time.

The second piece, 'Colder Still', runs to 33 minutes, and feels twice as long. The deepest, most tactile soundscape Nurse With Wound have ever made, the track takes the listener on a voyage to a nightmare world in a way very few other musicians ever have. A few synth blasts and some manic laughter at the start suggest things may be heading off into camp territory, but soon things calm into a much subtler terror. Electronic warbles suggest nighttime insects, waterphone drones imply something sinister, and muffled percussion calls to mind the tense heartbeat of the innately terrified. At one point the grunts of a totally alien creature leap from the mix, accompanied by scuttling sounds. Where earlier NWW soundscapes retained a sense of the abstract, every aspect of 'Colder Still' seems to point to a very literal environment. A tribal sounding percussion loop is introduced, suggesting motion for the first time, before fading out into a warmer drone that closes the album with the listener, thankfully, finding safety. It's an uncharacteristically happy ending, the kind Nurse With Wound listeners are rarely offered.

The second half of the track is where the album ties in to its Current 93 sister, with most of the C93 song 'Rosy Star Tears from Heaven' appearing, in a heavily warped and filtered version. The track's closing drones, in turn, appear on the C93 album under the title 'Thunder Perfect Mind II'. One doesn't need to listen to both albums to understand these sections, but they make an enjoyable bonus for fans of both bands.

It's not just the return to studio recording that marks Thunder Perfect Mind out as the start of a new era: the album was the first to be engineered by Colin Potter. Stapleton speaks highly of Potter's way of shaping sounds, to the extent that he has worked on almost every Nurse album since this, and is considered a full-time member of the band, appearing at most live shows. The difference in sound on this album is staggering: whereas almost all earlier releases are rough-around-the-edges - admittedly an aesthetic that works well - Thunder Perfect Mind is polished, sonically rich and multi-coloured. It is almost difficult to believe that this album was made in much the same manner as earlier Nurse With Wound works.

Furthermore, Thunder Perfect Mind starts a series of musically interlinked works, with aspects of both tracks here being reworked and reused several times hence. The more successful of these would be the tracks that take 'Colder Still' as a starting point. Those that begin with the bleeping tones of 'Cold' have almost become a running joke in NWW fandom, never knowing when to expect them to turn up next.

Several of them appear on the album's 2016 bonus disc, subtitled Various Industrial Adhesives and Lubricants. The disc is one of the less interesting NWW expansion packs, compiling as it does many otherwise easily obtainable pieces. 'Crank' and 'Head Cold' appear on Large Ladies With Cake in the Oven (reissued around the same time), while 'Steel Dream March of the Metal Men' and 'The Dadda's Intoxication' are from the CD edition of 'Crumb Duck' - not expensive on the second hand market and almost certainly due a reissue any time soon. It's testament to Stapleton's attention to detail that everything does get included - and great for those who only have the time, money or sanity for a small number of NWW discs - but throw in the fact that 'Cold (Miss Ticker Mix)' was on the previous CD reissue, and the fact that three of the bonus tracks are basically just edits of 'Cold', with a further two being remixes of the track, and another a live version of it, and... well, the bonus material is underwhelming. Throw in a back cover collage that's totally out of keeping with the rest of the art, and it's not the best reissue to come from Cooloorta in recent years.

Still, an excellent remastering job from Andrew Liles, and comparatively easy availability of the reissue mean it's still a worthwhile purchase. The album itself is essential listening, and a highlight of the Nurse With Wound catalogue.