Roland Barthes once said: “The ‘grain’ of the voice is not – or is not merely – its timbre; the signifiance it opens cannot better be defined, indeed, than by the very friction between the music and something else,” but who gives a shit? Torturing Nurse would sooner cough on you than speak to you, and they are most definitely not concerned with “music”, just the “something else”. The “grain” here is the granular phlegm at the bottom of “vocalist” Junky’s throat, a choking, faltering reference to the body before the machine takes full control. For this music, you don’t need ears. You don’t even need a body, really. What would Barthes say about the grating grain of all voices at once? Music that’s been fed through the effect-chain meat grinder so many times it ceases to be readable as “music” and actually starts to sound like meat? Just GRIND, fine-ground, the last tiny pieces of humanity ebbing through the proverbial hourglass, grain by grain by grain. There’s no one left: just “Midnight, The Stars & You,” and the horrible, howling wind whipping rust particles through your pores until you’re more corroded metal than man.
Roland Barthes also said: “We know now that a text is not a line of words releasing a single ‘theological’ meaning (the ‘message’ of the Author- God) but a multi-dimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash,” but — again — who gives a shit? Certainly not Primitive Calculators, who know that nothing has changed since at least 1978. It’s all “the same / the same / the same / the same / the same / the same / the same.” The World Is (still) FUCKED. “The Same [Simon Cotter remix]” likewise starts with the guttural remnants of a voice no longer attached to any human frame. The author long ago died, and who knows who/what [Simon Cotter] is (/was)? We may live in a post-industrial world, but Primitive Calculators never lose their edge. Any abacus will tell you that four = four, over and over, day and night, dawn after nuclear dawn. The best you can hope to do is replace your bones with this ancient, ruthless logic and melt into the future.
TORTURING NURSE is
Junky – Noise
Recorded and mixed by Junky
PRIMITIVE CALCULATORS is
Stuart Grant – Guitar / Vocals
David Light – Bass
Denise Hilton – Keyboards / Vocals
Frank Lovece – Vocals
Andrea Blake – Rhythms / Vocals
additional vocals by Pocket Calculators featuring Grace, Velvet Sand (Siege-a & O-g-o), Fu and Stella Electrika
Recorded by Neil Thomason at Headgap Studios
Remixed by Simon Cotter
both tracks mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios