Nebula - "Let it Burn" (Teepee 1998, TP-010)
From Aural Innovations #5 (January 1999)
Nebula is the latest entry into the stoner rock fray, but since the trio features two ex-members of Fu Manchu (guitarist/vocalist Eddie Glass and drummer Ruben Romano), they're not really newcomers at all. Somewhere along the line, they picked up bassist Mark Abshire, who capably furnishes the necessary rumbling, muddy cadences in the Geezer Butler tradition. Let it Burn is the debut CD-EP (6 tracks - 23 min.) by the band, and pretty much recreates what they were doing in the parent group.
With the exception of the final track ("Raga in the Bloodshot Pyramid"), which is a true raga complete with sitar and tablas, all of the songs hover close to the Sabbath ethic, and affix the same psychedelic touch and frequent wah-wah guitar leads as you find from Monster Magnet, etc. In fact, there really isn't very much you can say to distinguish the songs from each other. However, one song does stand out as being a true highlight (track 4), though I can't say for sure what the title is. According to the track listing on the back cover, track 4 is Dragon Eye, though you can clearly hear "Oh, my, my, my, I've got the Dragon's Eye" sung during the chorus of track 5 (supposedly "Vulcan Bomber"). My suspicion is that the titles are out of order and that "Vulcan Bomber" is the tune I really enjoyed.
One area that Nebula has room for improvement is the vocals - not that there's anything terribly wrong with Glass' voice, but rather the lyrical lines are just a bit too monotone, and just not very inventive. I think this is probably the first time he's been lead vocalist (only playing guitar in Fu Manchu), so perhaps it will be awhile before he settles in to that role. Other than that, one's enjoyment of Let it Burn simply depends upon how much you love the burgeoning stoner rock genre.
You can visit Nebula at their web site.
Reviewed by Keith Henderson