Review: Nebula “To The Center” and “Let it Burn”

Review: Nebula “To The Center” and “Let it Burn”

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Nebula – “To The Center” and “Let it Burn” (Heavy Psych Sounds records)

Among the numerous highlights in store for those heading to Desertfest in London this May will be the appearance of Nebula. The band formed as a three-piece in the US 21 years ago creating hazy spiralling sounds that reflected the band name which stands for cosmic clouds of dust, in layman’s terms at least.

Vocalist Eddie Glass is the sole remaining member of the original LA line-up, having assembled the original trio after he quit his previous band Fu Manchu. Nebula dropped off the stratosphere in 2010, before re-emerging seven years later.

With interest heightened by fans old and new Heavy Psych Sounds Records have reissued a couple of the records that first cemented their reputation among stoner fans.

First up is To The Center, which was originally released via Sub Pop Records in 1999. The album features 14 tracks and is little short of a heady psychedelic trip with a cocktail of Hendrix like riffage fighting for air alongside great cosmic dreamy sequences, none more so than the album’s longest track Freedom.

‘While the trio at times appear so laid back as to be bordering horizontal as the heady whiff of 70’s overindulgence clouds the fuzzed riff lines, more definition is given to some shorter numbers such as the dynamicAntigone. The full hippy trippy feel is to the fore on the spaced out Fields of Psiloycbin complete with mandolin like guitars that helped create an almost oriental ambience.

This reissue is a throwback to a more analogue age and has that distinctive Hawkwind and Sabbath spirit, this release enhanced with a couple of bonus tracks. Glass’s languid style, which works so well on sublime slowburners such as ‘I Need Somebody,’ at times almost carries a kind of Liam Gallagher-like whine. The full stoner blast of Nebula rocks you back on your heels on a track like Between Time and these astral cuts sound as vibrant as when first carved in a meteoric rock 20 years ago.

Let it Burn features eight Nebula tracks, all recorded in 1997/98, although this is still generally viewed as more of an EP than album. The original release was through Relapse Records and this reissue again sees Heavy Psych tag on a couple of bonus tracks.

The opening four numbers showcase Nebula’s indulgent love for life withVulcan Bomber fittingly causing the most damage while the album’s title track also carries a groove straight out of a 70’s backstreet bar. The final four tracks are all special in their own right with the experimental instrumental Raga in the Bloodshot Pyramidreally flipping the switch.

For the real Nebula full throttle though look no further than  the almost Led Zepp like Sonic Titan’, which more than lives up to its name with crushing inter-galactic grooves followed by some insane solo mixes that will have your mind and senses reeling as though in receipt of a particularly tidy upper cut.

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About the author

Living in the 'birthplace of metal' - Birmingham, UK - Paul Castles has been covering the extreme metal scene for many years.

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