09 January 2018

NEBULA album reissues on HPS Records

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Eddie Glass and Ruben Romano (ex Fu Manchu) has put together one of the most sonically aural music obliterations ever put down on tape. Along with Queens of the Stone Age and Eternal Elysium, Nebula were one of the most pleasant surprises in the stoner rock movement of the 90s. To call them another stoner rock band is an injustice to their versatility and dynamism. Nebula experiments with different types of sounds, including the raga piece “Raga in the Bloodshot Pyramid.” Arguably one of the best white-played ragas, besides the Northwood Improvisers’ phenomenal Stargarden, the song offers a refreshing change from the average fuzz-infested rock tune. The guitars are brash, loud, covered in mud, and loaded with crotch-kickin’ feedback. The interplay of the drums and bass and the extended guitar jam on the aptly titled “Sonic Titan” is one of several highlights on Let It Burn. There is no dead weight here. This is especially true of the bonus tracks, which include the rawest, most brilliant song on the album, “Devil’s Liquid.” If you are a fan of the genre, or just Fu Manchu, then put down your bong and Black Sabbath vinyl long enough to go out and find yourself this masterpiece.

The first six songs were recorded at Rancho de la Luna, Joshua Tree, CA May 97, engineered by Fred Drake and mastered by John Golden. The last two were recorded at LoHo Studios, New York, NY June 1998, engineered by Joe Hogan and mastered by Dave Shirk at Sonorous Mastering, Tempe, AZ.

Nebula’s first full-length release, “To the Center” is another retro-psychedelic heavy rock platter, long on stripped-down riff muscle and surprisingly technically adept guitar jams. The results sometimes meander, which probably isn’t of much consequence if this brand of metal is your bag, since this is what you’d expect in this perception-expanding context. What matters more than tightly structured songs are riffs and atmosphere, and both of those are present in abundance.

“To the Center” was released in 1999 on Sub Pop. The album has much more of a progressive/psychedelic sound to it than most of the band’s other albums. Produced by Jack Endino & Nebula. Engineered by Jack Endino and ercorded at Hanzsek Audio, Seattle, April 1999. The Heavy Psych Sounds To the Center reissue will be enriched by new incredible bonus/extra songs.

Nebula is one of those bands that would have fit perfectly on a concert bill with Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, or the Stooges circa 1973. The power trio of Eddie Glass (vocals, guitars), Ruben Romano (drums), and Mark Abshire (bass) has quietly fused a somewhat modernized but highly distinctive ’70s hard rock sound all its own. Releasing “Dos EPs” is a smart move, combining the very limited “Sun Creature” EP and the Meteor City split with three additional songs that groove on raunchy guitar hooks, opaque slacker vocals, and bleed-heavy drumming. Of the unreleased material, “Long Day” pegs an infectious hard-luck guitar swagger against a catchy slippery rhythm, while “Rocket” and “Bardo Airways” scream in a straightforward attack that would make any old-school AC/DC or Judas Priest fan proud. Also sounding retro-fresh are previously released rockers “Full Throttle,” “Fall of Icarus,” and “Rollin’ My Way to Freedom,” which all intertwine nicely together. “Smokin’ Woman” is truly a signature piece that blisters in a fog of heavy fuzzed-out midsong riffage. Despite the presence of occasional lyrical fluff, it’s the shredding musical jams that should satisfy desert rock listeners, making “Dos EPs” essential for Nebula collections.
It was released in 2002 on Meteor City. The songs were engineered by Jack Endino and Joe Hogan.