Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Nebulas - Nebula 89.7dotdotdotdotdot
artworkThe Nebulas came all the way from Boston to play a week of west coast gigs. They made a Pitstop along the way on October 5, 2002. This is the captain's log of that mission.
Picks: Da Cat, Old Cape Cod, Mandalore, Torque Wrench, Vendetta, Morpheus, The Godfather, Bristol Express, Cecilia Ann, Journey To The Stars / High Tide / Third Star From The Left, Tuco's Lament, Rhino Chaser, Nebula One, Swan Lake, Redlined

Track by Track Review


Da Cat dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

The Nebulas opened their performance with a rough and ready surf rage called "Da Cat." It's chunky and spunky and riffy, with a slight sadness and lots of energy.

Old Cape Cod dotdotdotdotdot
(Instrumental)

It's just too cool to hear this ancient pop melody get the reverb treatment. It's not just exceptionally good surf, it's also infectious and up tempo fun. Grins and dancing shoes required, shirts optional.

Mandalore dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The drums of "Mandalore" herald the lure of glassy curl that should be seen and not ridden. Fast and darting like a near-death ride at Mavericks. Way cool!

Torque Wrench dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Supertones' "Torque Wrench" is fast and over the top, with pumping drums and a damped verse that's entirely too cool. The great drums drive this really hard! A top drawer song with lots of surf power.

Vendetta dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The inevitable sadness of the vendetta is conveyed with throbbing vibrato and pounding tom toms. Moody and dangerous.

Morpheus dotdotdotdotdot
(Instrumental)

Ah yes, the Toads' obscuro "Morpheus" is a fine cover choice. Moody and powerful, with dribbling reverb and minor key danger. Fine performance!

The Godfather dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Godfather" is played fast and double picked in a surf rather than Italian style. The slow damped verse is cooler than cool! Way cool.

Bristol Express dotdotdotdot
(Instrumental)

Moody and mysterious, "Bristol Express" is fast and pumping with great reverb and a fine arrangement. Melodic and pensive, it grabs and holds your attention.

Cecilia Ann dotdotdotdotdot
(Instrumental)

There are a number of covers of "Cecilia Ann" out there. Most were influenced by the Pixies' cover, but this is right off the original Surftones' version, only faster and more powerful. Excellent!

Journey To The Stars / High Tide / Third Star From The Left dotdotdotdotdot
(Instrumental)

This is a grand medley! The Ventures' "Journey To The Stars" pumps and churns in full force, including damped guitar mayhem, before a glissando launches into full throated performance of the Lively Ones' raging "High Tide," which captures much of the power and edge of the original. Then, without warning, the Nocturnes' glorious "Third Star From The Left" plays out in full regalia. This is an intense trip to the big surf! All three songs are full length.

Tuco's Lament dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tuco's Lament" is a top notch piece of writing, a mid tempo number that is both sad and hopeful. The fine melody line is open faced, with nothing to hide and nothing held back, and the whammy chords and splashy reverb just make it better.

Rhino Chaser dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Rhino Chaser" is tuff. The mean edge and attractive guitar lines rock it solidly with a fast and catchy sound. Intense and relentless, with an urgency all its own.

Nebula One dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The bass rumble starts as the launch sequence, which culminates under the damped dribble. The mean guitar line is double picked and richly varied. Each verse is its own mission, flown on "Nebula One" via tuff storm surf. Excellent!

Swan Lake dotdotdotdotdot
(Instrumental)

Rich whammy and double picked drama deliver Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" with delicate power. It's rewarding, with shimmering vibrato and surf dripping from every note. Fast and really infectious.

Redlined dotdotdotdot
(Instrumental)

The Penetrators' Rip Thrillby wrote this groovy song. The break has the same kind of delicate melody line that "Melody's Dilemma" features. "Red Tide" thunders and pummels and thrashes, and then as if you haven't had enough, it runs over you. Great stuff! Very cool!