Nebula Overdrive

Art House, Kobe, Japan - 10 May 2016

"An impressive live debut"

Effortlessly winning the coolest new band name of the last year, Nebula Overdrive are four Japanese guys from Osaka. Tonight though, for their first ever gig, they are taking to the live stage in neighbouring Kobe at the intimate and well-equipped Art House live venue.

Neblua's style is clearly influenced by the classic grunge of Nirvana but is taken into a (for me at least) hitherto unheard of arena, as it seems inspired as much by the heavy guitar side of industrial music. This was in stark contrast with the four other acts on tonight's bill, on before and after Nebula, that were competent if uninspiring variations of teenage pop rock.

Opening their set with Black, the thunderous title track of their same-titled debut EP, was a confident statement of intent, as this immediately placed very clear water between what we'd just heard and what was about to be unveiled over the next half hour.

[Nebula Overdrive]   [Nebula Overdrive]   [Nebula Overdrive]

Nebula Overdrive appeared to perplex their audience the further they got into their set. At one point there was a somewhat random (if staged) interruption by two comedic characters, who did a short verbal skit between a couple of the songs, before walking back off stage, allowing Nebula to reconvene.

Closer Distraction summoned up frankly disturbing backing electronics and a bass guitar noise that's like nothing I've ever heard before. It's touches like this that sets them apart from anyone else who has a foot or two in the grunge camp. But that's merely the starting point for this outfit who choose ignore any prescribed or perceived genres and instead go their own way, for good or ill.

This was an impressive live debut. Just a shame that the occasion was largely lost on an audience who had paid to listen to more conventional fare
. 7/10 

Setlist: Black, Yes, Drive Me, Slapcheek, Distraction

Rob Dyer