​Kamikaze Nurse's 'Stimuloso' Is a Welcome Sensory Overload

​Kamikaze Nurse's 'Stimuloso' Is a Welcome Sensory Overload
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Kamikaze Nurse could probably write very pretty music, if they wanted to. The Vancouver band prove as much on Stimuloso standout "Come from Wood," with its music box guitar arpeggios that crescendo with giddy pop melodies. But this is Kamikaze Nurse we're talking about — which means that they drench the song in distortion and some wonky whammy bar dive bombs.

On their sophomore album (and first for Mint Records), the four-piece show off impressive range, balancing impeccable hooks with art-damaged weirdness and moments of immersive dreaminess. Which of these styles Kamikaze Nurse do best will likely boil down to individual taste; for me, it's the motorik reverie of the six-minute "P & O" and the squalling shoegaze float of "Never Better."

But the band sound similarly locked in when hitting skronky, dissonant chords on art-punk bangers like "Aileen" and the scream-filled "Stimuloso." Several spoken-word passages throughout the album bring a sense of drama club theatricality. These tend to favour surreality than thematic clarity — like how the doom-filled scorcher "Pet Meds" includes a conversation about a recommended mechanic, when surely it should be about a veterinarian. Opening track (and lead single) "Boom Josie" brings the band's many styles together in an anxious two and a half minutes, its lyrics a cute tribute to guitarist Ethan Reyes's young child.

Fittingly, Stimuloso was mixed by Greg Saunier of Deerhoof — another band with a similarly skewed sense of salty and sweet. Kamikaze Nurse cover a lot of ground in just 10 tracks, making these 39 minutes a sensory overload in the best way. (Mint)