Nebula Get Their Powers from Yellow Sunshine

This is the EP artwork. So far as I know the LP is the same.Like New Jersey stoner stalwarts The Atomic Bitchwax before them, Californian mainstays Nebula find themselves aligned with Tee Pee Records for not the first time celebrating the occasion of releasing material most of which was previously available. Heavy Psych, the full-length that shares its title and artwork with the self-released EP that came before it, parts ways with TAB4 in that unlike that record, there are three new tracks on In the studio, having a laugh.this reissue showcasing the loose garage psychedelia that Nebula have come to embody. Where their last couple albums, namely 2003’s Atomic Ritual and 2006’s Apollo sounded confused and mismanaged, there’s no doubt what Heavy Psych is setting out to do. It’s right there in the name.

Given the arrangement of the tracks on the EP version, some shifting needed to be done to make it work as a legitimate LP and not just the original release with bonus cuts or something like that. So we find that “secret track” “Running of the Bulls” rightly moves to the closing spot, separated from its original companions by the three new songs, “Crown of Thorns,” “Lead Sky” and “Little Yellow Pill,” each of which boasts the acoustic and electric guitars and laid-back stoned vocals of Eddie Glass. Karma to Burn‘s Rob Oswald, who makes his premiere on Heavy Psych, fits well in the rhythm section alongside bassist Tom Davies, and as anyone who’s ever followed the band knows, we’re a long way from the days of Nebula‘s primary appeal being that they’re an offshoot of Fu Manchu. Even more so on Heavy Psych, Nebula confirms their importance in the post-Kyuss stoner rock scene. Even though they probably wouldn’t want to be called stoner rock.

Whatever the label, the catchy-to-a-fault songwriting that permeates the dirty blues of “Aphrodite” or the Davies bass line accompanying the chorus of “In the Depths” makes Heavy Psych less a return to form for the It's an old logo, but it's not like the spelling has changed.rockers than a mature shifting in direction. And for the longtime fans who were disappointed with the route they took beginning with 2001’s Charged, this album won’t fulfill all of your To the Center wishes, but it has that kind of swaggering ’70s attitude and groove that’s almost challenging you not to get into it. And yeah, good luck with that.

As for those new songs, they’re basically in line with the rest of record, sound-wise, even if they sound fresher and like they’re confirming the direction the earlier part of the record has taken (I’ll Just to prove I wasn't making it up.allow that might be me reading too much into it). “Crown of Thorns” is classic start-and-stop Nebula riff rocking, with some showy fills from Oswald that lead into a noisy psychedelic section, and “Lead Sky” has a quick stoner shuffle going with some party-style handclaps and a surprisingly doomy lead line from Glass that works in context. “Little Yellow Pill” is the longest at 3:49 (the other two hover right at 3:00) and my pick of the bunch, with probably the stankiest, dankest blues riff the band have put forth to date. It’s messy, but Nebula are right in their element punking their way through the swamp.

The EP version of Heavy Psych was a tour special to go along with a run of dates Nebula did with Totimoshi, and though it’s been available online, if adding on the three tracks and releasing it through Tee Pee is going to get it in the hands of people who might not otherwise find it, all the better. Diehards and completists get about 10 new minutes and everyone else gets a whole new Nebula record. I could think of way worse situations to be in.


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One Response to “Nebula Get Their Powers from Yellow Sunshine”

  1. […] of this US run is that by the time they get going, their new album, Heavy Psych (Tee Pee Records; reviewed here), will have already been out for a couple weeks, so you can be familiar with the new songs. Nebula. […]

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