Nebula – Holy Shit

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: Heavy Psych Sounds Records
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS088
Band Website: https://atomicritual.com/

BAND LINE-UP:

Eddie Glass – Vocals & Guitar
Tom Davies – Bass & Vocals
Michael Amster – Drums

TRACKLISTING:

1. Man’s Best Friend
2. Messiah
3. It’s All Over
4. Witching Hour
5. Fistful Of Pills
6. Tomorrow Never Comes
7. Gates Of Eden
8. Let’s Get Lost
9. The Cry of A Tortured World

REVIEW:

It is not often that we here at Independent Voice towers get to revisit a band within the same year, so imagine the surprise at such an opportunity. Granted, it might have been rather more akin to a raise-eyebrow, maybe even a cheeky “oh, those guys” if we’re feeling frisky, but return we do to the garage-rock grumblings of NEBULA. Regular readers of these reviews (all two of you) may also recall a chilling prediction laid out in our previous discourse, and lo is it so. Yes, the burgeoning powers of clairvoyance are growing stronger as NEBULA return from their trip down memory lane earlier this year with their latest album, “Holy Shit”.

It’s an easy title to work with in this game, since it’s an oft-used phrase in this neck of the woods. “Holy shit, they’re back!” “Holy shit, I was right!” “Holy shit… is the title of the album!” Etc. So what has Eddie Glass et al. got for us this time round? Anything different?

Well… “Same old, same old” is what some might say, but it’s still fiercely NEBULA. It might not ignite the same fires as it did back at their 90s peak, but it’s still a pretty solid effort. To reuse a previous phrase, they sound like “punk-influenced rock with a Southern-tinge that makes for the fun times, and has that Saturday Night Live at your favourite venue-vibe”. Yes, that makes a mockery of the usual rally against unoriginality, but it fits neatly here. The band has a fun flavour, but doesn’t push any boundaries or try to step towards the mark.

It would be so easy to snark on the opening of “Man’s Best Friend” consisting of snoring, and say that that was the review right there, but that’s not happening today for two reasons. One, that’s incredibly lazy. Two, “Holy Shit”, as a whole, is not bad at all. The drawn-out grooves of “Messiah” hint at the band’s psych-leanings dutifully, whilst the barmy widdlings of “Fistful Of Pills” make for a fun excursion to slight absurdity. Though it is left up to “Garden Of Eden” to be the highlight, with its drawling vocals, push-and-pull tempo and jangling riffs. Expect that to be a solid feature of future live shows.

“Ain’t broke; don’t fix it” is the supposition here, and that’s absolutely fine. “Holy Shit” might meander a little and leave the brain’s memory banks a little under-tickled, but it’s strong evidence that the band are alive and well, doing what they love. As was stated from the last time we visited the band’s garage, the new release will keep fans happy, and could very well usher in some new ones, too. NEBULA’s “Demos & Outtakes 98-02” may very well have been the predicted stop-gap, but this new one makes use of those foundations to build up a little momentum. Holy… Moly…

REVIEW BY

LEE CARTER

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