Nebula – Holy Shit (2019)

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Psychedelic, fuzzy rock n roll is what the L.A based Nebula promise to deliver on their latest release, Holy Shit, and it pretty much hits those marks as it also deviates into somewhat unexpected territory along the way.

Mans Best Friend opens with a slab of Sabbath-esque riffing, coupled with some straight ahead rock n roll lead guitar – Everything strips back in the mid section to become an extended jam – before bringing it all back towards the songs climax.

Messiah is a more laid back affair.  Even in its bolder moments, it comes across as very casual, while It’s All Over follows suit with the laid back approach, but adds some atmospheric spacey effects for good measure.

Witching Hour offers up a nod to NWOBHM, with modern stylings all over its “retro” foundation.  Fistful of Pills is a fully instrumental track, with the exception of some chanting.  It’s got a surf rock feel, and although it’s quite short, it’s a surprising highlight of the album.

Tomorrow Never Comes is the lengthiest track of the record – and suitably encompasses many influences, ranging from stoner, fuzz and doom, to balls out rock.  The psychedelic surf rock makes a return, and there’s another little tip of the cap to NWOBHM.  Its a true centre piece to the album.

I get the feeling that Nebula don’t plan out their songs too thoroughly, but rather let the song lead them as musicians and artists – and it works very well for them.  Gates of Eden is a decent example of this – more or less all over the place, but still coming across as a cohesive piece of music.

Let’s Get Lost is raw and features a punk rock vibe, albeit without the speed.  There’s still an energy at play though, and that is due mostly to the vocal delivery – which is strained and discordant and altogether compelling.

The Cry Of A Tortured World is the final track, and at 7 minutes long, it follows the formula of its equally lengthy counterpart, Tomorrow Never Comes, bringing forth all of the styles that inform Nebulas sound.  Again, a perfect example of how the band allow their compositions to lead them, rather than vice-versa.

Holy Shit is 43 minutes of interesting music that shouldn’t have a problem keeping you engaged throughout its duration.  Whether you listen closely and discover the depth on offer, or simply put it on in the background and hear it as a straight ahead rock record, it will work for you.

7.5/10

Review by Shayne McGowan

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