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22 years after their first release and 10 years after their last album, Nebula are back. And you’re thinking “Holy shit!” right now, you pretty much nailed it.
Holy Shit is Nebula’s first LP since 2009’s Heavy Psych, and it quickly puts to rest the question that’s loomed since guitarist/vocalist Eddie Glass, bassist Tom Davies and drummer Michael Amster announced the band’s reformation in 2017. Nebula are still Nebula.
It’s there in the inimitable space-grunge of “It’s all Over,” or the take-a-drag-and-be-gone “Let’s Get Lost,” or the way “Tomorrow Never Comes” manages to be so, so heavy and laid back at the same time. It’s in the paradise-psych of “Gates of Eden” and even the snoring you hear before the devilish “Man’s Best Friend” kicks in to open the album (the studio couch became a crash spot).
Since the days of 1998’s Let it Burn EP and the now-classic To the Center debut album, Nebula have always been just a little more dangerous. Just a little more unhinged. Holy Shit shows this front-to-back for the essential part of their character it is, and yet it’s not trying to be anything they’ve done before, whether it’s those early outings or Heavy Psych or Charged (2001), Apollo (2003) or Atomic Ritual (2005). It’s a sixth Nebula album -- something for which even the most ardent of fans could hardly have hoped.
The basic tracks were done in two days, recorded at Mysterious Mammal Studios in L.A. with Matt Lynch (also of Snail) at the helm. Leads and loops and feedback effects were done live by Glass and Davies as they recorded the basic tracks, just the way they’d do it on stage, and overdubs followed after as needed. A glut of material was produced and whittled down to the core of what you hear here. A sixth Nebula album.
And when you hear it, you’ll find yourself saying that title all over again.
- JJ Koczan