2004, Meteor City
Black Nasa, "Deuce"
Its always exciting to see a Meteor City release in a stack of new promos. It's something different that allows me to unplug and create some distance from all the Jungle Rots and Withering Surfaces that are demanding my attention. Moreover, when this label gets it right, you'll get a disc that's heavy enough and groovy enough to snap the legs off of an elephant.
This Meteor City release is Black Nasa, and their album Deuce isn't really aiming at heavy, but there's no denying their catchy guitar hooks and smooth style. These guys are simply barroom rock with a velvet lining and a sick sense for holding the high notes (on the guitars) at just the right places in the songs. In some tracks, this trick results in a twang that makes them almost feel country, but if you take a second listen to "Light" or "Hut Nut" you'll understand that Black Nasa aren't wearing any dumbass, big brimmed hats or shitkicker boots, they're just feeling out the jam.
There are a few places on Deuce where the band treads dangerously near the radioplay sound, as they do on the "Thanks Anyway," parts of which have Foo Fighters written all over them. Thankfully this doesn't happen too often, though Black Nasa's sound definitely invites these kinds of ideas from time to time. Subsequent albums will hopefully show the band exploring their smooth side and focusing on spaced out jams with airy guitars, and walking big circles around ideas that land them anywhere near the radio rock sound...because, honestly, is there any faster way to ruin a stoner rock band's sound than that?
Overall Black Nasa's Deuce is an easy, satisfying listen that shows the band has a chance to do big things in the future, all they've got to do is stay on the path of the righteous stoner band and resist the temptation of money for playing shitty songs...but if these guys can end their disc with a rendition of Run DMC's "You Be Illin'," then I think their heads are in the right place.