Flying Saucers, Waves and Reverb

Nebula One (Tivertone Records)
The Nebulas

By David Lilly

Way back in what we call the '60s, Bill Cosby did a comedy album with a routine about how it was important to "have your music with you" when walking the streets of Philadelphia at night, because "monsters cannot attack you when you have your music with you." The Nebulas' debut CD, appropriately called Nebula One, is here and is it hummable? Mm hmm! Playing trad-based surf music with a modern edge (to keep those dreaded monsters away), this is The Nebulas' debut full-length disc and they're riding fiberglass on fire.

The countdown to the Nebula's recording career gives way to a bit of cool sci-fi surf, beginning with the sinister sonics of "Nebula One" spewing forth from the speakers like the soundtrack to some teenagers-from-outer-space B-movie. Less sinister, but no less dramatic and with a hint of sadness, is a tune with the same name as a famous spot in Atlantic City, N.J. - namely (if you're old enough to remember it), "Steel Pier."

Think you're gonna get a breather anytime soon? Not with these guys. "T-16" slithers with a bit of exotic guitar that might provoke you to wonder where the belly dancer is. "Rhino Chaser" starts with a thunderstorm of percussion and rumbles on at just over two minutes of musical downpour and rolling thunder courtesy of "Too Fast" Jim Nichols, an excellent percussionist who has forgotten more about surf music and surf bands than most of will ever know. If you think you've heard it all before, you haven't. "Who says?" you will ask with machismo. I says, because you probably ain't heard a surf version of Peter Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake," with reverb, of course, as the composer would have wanted. Buy this CD and hear it as often as you want to.

The site that waxes on about this band and plays music samples is

. Want to hear more than just samples? Check out