In this corner, with 12 years, five albums, three EPs and countless tours under their belts, NEBULA!
And in the opposite corner, with 3 years as a trio, touring in support of their first album, The Entrance Band!
Hardly seems like a fair fight, does it? As logic would dictate, The Entrance Band was opening for Nebula on their North American tour, which hit Southern Ontario last week. But according to one Chandler Levack of Eye Weekly, it was the openers who were the best band of the nite.
He couldn’t be more wrong. Nor could he (she?) have found more than five people who agreed with him. Let me say that I don’t know what a “Bill Ray Cyrus-style metal thug” is, but I didn’t see any mullets at the Wreckroom, and the only cowboy hat in the building was worn by a woman. That being said, Chandler was clearly intimidated by the tattooed likes of Sin Dealer’s Eric Kuthe (ex-Sea of Green) and Frank Sargeant (who also plays bass in OTIS) since he hid on the “soaking upholstered couches” at the back of the room, and didn’t even mention the opening act. On the other hand, I gave Sin Dealer some love in my review for THTGIR. Gotta support the local scene, y’know…
Now, let me make it clear (in case you didn’t click on the link above) that The Entrance Band wasn’t that bad. I am a big fan of power trios–as you’ll see in an upcoming review–and these guys got my head nodding with a few heavy grooves. But after Earthless, The Gates of Slumber and a handful of three-piece bands at the Born Too Late II doomfest, they weren’t even one of the top five trios I’ve seen this year. Nor were they the best trio of the evening.
They were certainly the best-dressed band, though, in their matching white pants and plain white Ts. Kinda made me think of The White Stripes. So did their singer’s voice. According to Levack, Entrance frontman Guy Blakeslee had the “perfect rock scream.” Jack White must be his idea of the perfect rock singer.
What bugged me about The Entrance Band was that they bogged down the heaviness with boring psychedelia, slow melodic passages that went nowhere. Hardly the “Black Sabbath-style lighters-up anthems” that Levack describes. How many lighters-up anthems did Sabbath write, anyways? “Changes,” anyone?
Alas, after lavishing two lengthy paragraphs of praise on the opening band, Chandler gives passing mention to Nebula, saying they looked “like Brandon Lee from The Crow” (No they didn’t), and they’ve “refashioned their earlier, psychedelic sound into a poofier metal gloss.” Don’t get me wrong, new Nebula doesn’t sound like the old stuff and I prefer their earlier EPs myself, but Levack makes them sound like a glam band. Nebula’s Heavy Psych record, from which they played several songs, is about as metal as The Stooges or the MC-5. Depending who you talk to, those bands were either “proto-metal,” having cut their teeth in the sixties, or hard acid rock–not metal at all. In any case, I can’t find anything poofy about their sound–or Nebula’s, for that matter.
Reading crap like this reminds me why I haven’t picked up an issue of Eye Weekly since they put Sam Dunn on the cover. (That was back in 2005, by the way.) After all, the three-star rating given by this reviewer was akin to what some equally pretentious jerkoff bestowed on the Blood Ceremony CD release party back in January. Ask anyone who was there–Sneaky Dee’s was packed to the gills–and they’ll tell you that it wasn’t just a three-star show. The likes of Chandler Levack should stick to hipster hangouts like Levack Block, and you shouldn’t be reading Eye Weekly for reviews of heavy rock. (Hellbound.ca and TooHighToGetItRight.com seem like the places to go, but maybe I’m a tad biased…)
NEBULA fans take note: the band’s superb split with Swedish one-album wonders Lowrider is one of many items marked down during AllThatsHeavy’s summer sale. Don’t click this link if you’re a hipster–unless you don’t already own The Sword’s Gods of the Earth album on vinyl. (Apparently it’s 10 dollars off…)
Make love — not indie rock,