Subtitled "a layman's guide to Cod Surrealism," Sugar Fish Drink could almost be considered Automating, Vol. 3, in that like the early Automating volumes it culls material released on vinyl earlier, mostly from 12" singles from the late '80s and early '90s. It's not as cohesive as the regular albums, though it does offer a far wider sampling of the various sonic spaces that Nurse With Wound is capable of. "Cooloorta Moon" is one of NWW's more accessible numbers (and the only piece on this disc under nine minutes), as it riffs off the weird noise from Wolfgang Dauner's version of Gershwin's "My Man's Gone Now" for a bit of jazz-funk with an upbeat rhythm. The five-part "Creakiness," which was originally the NWW side of an LP shared with the far more conventional band Spasm. "Creakiness" is an apt title for the piece, as creaking noises run throughout the amorphous sound collage that offers a varied mix of everything from calliope to haunted violin music to metallic machine rhythms to found sound vocals. It seems almost like an insane circus where everything is about to collapse, and is one of the best tracks on the CD. "I Am the Poison," originally from the Soresucker EP, throws in some guitar textures and gloomy vocals from Sol Invictus frontman Tony Wakeford and is probably the weakest and most conventional cut here. "Swamp Rat," from the Faith's Favorites split 12" single with Current 93, has a repetitive drum rhythm, lots of background drones, and some insidiously contagious laughter. "A Piece of the Sky Is Missing" is mostly a subtle but dark ambient piece, though near the beginning there are some pounding rhythms and screeching horns. "Nil By Mouth" gets far stranger, as bursts of electro-noise and pounding percussion contrast starkly with creepy quieter sections of buzzes, chirps, and minor chord drones. The CD ends with a completely revamped version of "Brained by Falling Masonry," itself a remodeling of Brainticket's "Brainticket." Whereas the first "Brained" was a psychotic out-of-control overdose, this one begins far more calm and cosmic, and then proceeds to get even weirder with the effects and processing as it crashes from psychedelic rock to explosions of disruptive noise.
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AllMusic Review by Rolf Semprebon