Nebula Trip - "s/t" (Nebula Trip Productions 1999, Cassette)
From Aural Innovations #8 (October 1999)
Nebula Trip is a Connecticut based band playing improvised instrumental spacerock that sounds like the Ozric Tentacles, Tribe Of Cro, and even Rush. Though firmly in the space realm I hear elements that would also appeal to the progressive rock crowd as well. The 5-piece has been together three years and includes Anthony Bearse on keyboards and woodwinds, Tony Gaspar on drums and percussion, Tim Just on bass and guitar, Rich Pray on lead guitar and bass, and Carl Zepke on keyboards and percussion. This is a demo cassette featuring five of the eight songs that will appear on their soon to be released CD.
One of Nebula Trip's strengths is a strong bass/drum rhythm section that keeps things pounding, sometimes even getting a bit into space fusion, while the guitars, keyboards, and flute survey the landscape. The guitarist gets a LOT of milage out of his extended note licks that whine and sometimes scream. The echoed flute is a secondary instrument but pops up often enough to embellish the music nicely. Some of the songs have a more driving rockin' beat, which keeps me thinking of the Ozrics but also brings Rush to mind.
My favorite song (I couldn't tell which track was which) is an easy paced journey with a deep thudding bass beat. Orchestral keys and acidic guitar alternates between screaming licks and droning washes making this more of a freakout tune than the others. The rhythm section eventually launches into a bass/drum jam while the guitar and keys continue to trade licks. In fact, if Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson became the guitarist for the Ozrics I think you would get something like Nebula Trip. In summary, one of the more impressive instrumental space bands I've heard recently. Check out their new CD.
You can visit Nebula Trip at their web site.
Reviewed by Keith Henderson