Nebula, Charged (Sub Pop): These heavy, fuzzed-out guitar-driven sounds really take you back to the late-'60s daze of confusion — that interim period between acid trip-outs (i.e. Grateful Dead) and coke freak-outs (i.e. Abba) — don't they? OK, OK, so I wasn't actually there (and you probably weren't either) — that's just how I envision it. The major movement was fading. People were getting tired of peace and politics (though not of sex or drugs), but they weren't quite ready for the synthesized music to come. They put their shoes back on, but they were still dirty. They removed the braids and dreads from their hair, but they didn't cut it. They still wanted to jam — just harder. Metal hadn't fully arrived, but they could smell it in the air — its roots were sprouting in psychedelic hard rock. Kind of like where we are right now, post-grunge and pre- ... well, who knows? All of which, I think, explains Nebula: music to revert to while waiting for the next revolution (which won't be this big comeback of hard rock and metal you keep hearing about. The next revolution in music won't be a return to the past, but likely a twist on it). John Agnello, who's known for his work with Screaming Trees and Dinosaur Jr., produced Charged, the second full-length from the Los Angeles trio. It's cool and droning, the type of music that gets you to feel cool too, half-closing your eyes, leaning back in your chair, curling your lip Mick Jagger-style and, chin up, nodding your head slowly. Offsetting heavy bass lines with twangy acoustic guitar, the bluesy, roots-rock "Travelin' Man Blues" has a Black Crowes vibe. Laced with riffs so heavy they feel like an engine's burning roar, the semi-static "Ignition" offers wiry guitar lines and mean singing with loads of attitude. Closing track "All the Way" reverberates with spacey guitar lines, echoing choruses and floating psychedelic rhythms. It recalls hallucinogenic experiences where reality falls away and the warped, out-of-this-world ("but who cares, man?") visions set in. Traveling back in time can be fun. In Nebula's case, it certainly is. Especially when it means introducing a bygone genre to the folks who weren't around the first time. Including me. — Jenny Tatone

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