Sandwiched between the first and second albums, this five-track EP was released in October 2004 and incorporates elements of the first Oceansize album, Effloresce, whilst pointing the way to the second album which came out a year later.
One out of ‘nONE’, the first track, is a pounding statement of intent with a perfect mix of melody and subtlety and blood and thunder. As with everything Oceansize, Mark Heron’s drumming provides the foundation, propelling the song along and giving the guitars space to do their thing. Heron really is something special.
‘Paper Champion’ is one of those Oceansize songs that creates an interesting, slightly unsettling atmosphere. It doesn’t explode as other ‘size songs do and is all the better for that.
‘Drag the ‘nal’is a short soundtrack-type instrumental which flows into track four.
In ‘Dead Dogs an’ All Sorts’ we get lovely, dreamy Oceansize for the first couple of minutes then layered guitars build to a crescendo. Where have I said that before? But Oceansize do it so so well.
‘As the Smoke Clears’ starts from the crescendo of the previous track, then settles into a wistful passage before culminating in four minutes of rocking out. Another thing Oceansize do so well.
And its this ability to truly rock that makes Oceansize stand out from the crowd. Sure, the tender, delicate moments are wondrous but its that capacity to really crunch monster riffs that makes them a glorious rock band. Made them. The past tense is taking a while to get used to.
Music for Nurses is not as good as any of the full-length albums but its still essential for anyone remotely interested in rock music.
Written by Bruce Smeath