Headbanging magick from Californian stoner archetypes

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Nebula – Atomic Ritual

The dazzling rise of Queens Of The Stone Age over the past few years has left most of their psych-metal contemporaries for dust. Not that LA trio Nebula seem to mind, though. The mixing desk presence of Queens affiliate Chris Goss on this, their third album, has done little to draw them out of their closeted, reductive world. Atomic Ritual?that title!?remains a gonzoid pleasure. Riffs are carved from mud, pitched somewhere between Blue Cheer and Mudhoney. Lyrics lurch from sci-fi waffle to biker nihilism. A tribute to Aleister Crowley, “The Beast”, meanwhile, is gormless and innocent enough to pass muster with Nebula’s ultimate spirit guides, Black Sabbath. Good fun.