The LA trio Nebula opens their latest album, Charged (Sub Pop), with a big fat bird flipped at those who persist in calling their music "stoner rock." The sheer punkish velocity of "Do It Now" and the snotty sneer in Eddie Glass's voice conjure the Stooges more than Sabbath--and Mudhoney more than either. Of course, be it by choice or necessity, Mudhoney blew off the sort of fancy effects-laden solos Glass lays down on every tune and went straight for the bottom, but the thing they and Nebula have in common is that they can make that deep blue sludge swing. Bassist Mark Abshire is the group's secret weapon, delivering a smooth floor-rattling throb that holds the occasionally less-than-graceful drumming of Ruben Romano in check when necessary. There's more acoustic guitar in the mix this time out, the bongos are back, and on a few tunes the band dials back the rhythmic attack to something that could almost be called jaunty, but ultimately the variations are minor--and when it comes to the thundering live show, which in the past has featured fog machines and flaming gongs, they're irrelevant. Saturday, June 9, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jennifer McGee.