Written By: Matthew Chernus
The stoner rock genre is a lot like professional wrestling: it’s loud, obnoxious and so masculine that it’s downright silly. Like rasslin’ it is also guiltily addictive and an easy cartoon world to loose yourself in. If we were to continue with these comparisons it could easily be said that Tee Pee Records (Sleep, High on Fire) is the WWE of stoner rock labels and that Nebula is the genre’s answer to ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage.
Heavy Psych is nothing more than a continuation of the Nebula tradition. It’s plodding, “authentically retro” and “riffing as shit!!!” – The soundtrack to a gnarly summer of bong rips and cold kegs. ‘The Dagger’ is boogie rock defined: the guitars shake and tumble like an old ZZ Top song dipped in blotter. Eddie Glass has the voice of a fallen angel, he’s the worst greaser in the bunch ready and able to steal your chick (maybe he already has.) You may want to give her a call after listening to ‘Aphrodite’ where he groans ‘Get out of my head/sweet lady get into my bed.’ Full of sex and swagger, it’s all in a days work for this road warrior band.
Unfortunately Heavy Psych shotguns too many beers too fast: the hangover comes hard with the trippy instrumental bummer ‘Dream Submarine’ which drones for just long enough to put the proverbial damper on the party. ‘Crown of Thorns’ does nothing to help matters; it’s like the worst midday afternoon jam session you ever heard walking through the local practice space. Spacey guitar tones drifting around unfocused drum fills may sound nice in the Nebula state of mind but it does nothing to help round out what could have been a stellar hard rock album.
When it comes down to brass tax, Nebula always delivers a handful of absolute rulers. ‘The Other Side’ and ‘Lead Sky’ are perfect SoCal desert rock tunes; dirtier than Fu Manchu, drunker than Bad Wizard and as pummeling as an elbow from the top rope.