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Nebula : Charged

Beyond stoner rock, Californian group push riff envelope

Nebula  : Charged

8 / 10 For their third and - without a doubt - rockingest album, these three former Fu Manchus have exhumed psychedelic blues-rock riffs so ancient they're tattooed in woad. And then crossed them - we're visualising duelling axes on a stadium stage here - with the fury of The Stooges. The result is 'Charged', an album that takes the glib stoner rock soundbite and forces strong acid on its tongue.

So, it's a guitar trip: to the desert, into a lava wheel, to Detroit, often in the space of one song. 'Do It Now' sets the co-ordinates, freewheeling through the proto-punk era with the help of lysergic solos and a chorus so brilliant, it's virtually autistic: "Let's do it/Do it now". For all their shared stoner pedigree, Queens Of The Stone Age aren't really Nebula's most obvious reference points. 'Travelin' Man' suggests a bong and a boogie 'round the campfire with The Black Crowes, while 'Ignition' finds Nebula in a grunge moshpit, slick with that conviction that huge fuzzy guitars are all you ever need to hear - past, present and future.

And, you know, they could well be right.

Kitty Empire

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