Date: January 21st, 2021
A lot of water passed under the bridge since I was listening to grunge for the last time. Believe it or not, back in the nineties, I was a huge fan of grunge. And on the day when Kurt Cobain died, I believed, grunge died too. Now, in 2021, I am discovering grunge (or better to say post grunge bands) again. Circle of life it seems. Strangely, but with no reason, I decided to finish this review that I started a long time ago on the day of Kurt’s death (April 5th).
Neofelis Nebulosa is a young French band trying to rebirth grunge. The band was formed in 2019 by Philippe (lead singer/rhythm guitar) who suffered from depression. The band was his way out, part of his treatment, part of psychotherapy. Soon, Clément – lead guitarist, Damien – bass guitarist and Thomas Karbowiack – drummer, joined Philippe on his mission.
The band and their debut EP are the part of Philippe’s musical therapy. And I am sure some of you will experience its healing effects too. Debut EP is simply titled “EP1” and it contains three songs not necessarily classified as grunge, more melodic rock with punk touches I would say. In one sentence, to describe the whole EP, I could say it is a roller-coaster of emotions.
Described in one word, song by song: “Crazy World” – happy, “No One’s Gonna Save You”- depressive and “Drive” – aggressive. If you dig deeper, the album is a school example of duality: the lyrical base is more depressed while musically this album is pretty much joyful. And here I must recall my philosophy classes and mind-body dualism. In short lines, the mind and body are distinct and separable. If we would draw a parallel, it seems like Neofelis Nebulosa’s lyrics and the music are distinct and separable.
“Crazy World” is basically a happy, cheerful, melodic song with infectious riffs and… Let’s just say it is a sticky song. Once you hear it, you will repeat it till you get crazy. But the message behind it is a bit different. As I already wrote, there is a huge difference between music and lyrics or overall the messages they deliver. “No One’s Gonna Save You” will calm the atmosphere and go in a depressive direction. Ok, more melancholic than depressive. The beginning of the song somehow associates me with the sound of a whale song. And the sound of a whale song associates more to relaxation, calmness… The song is obviously inspired by the dark period of Phelippe’s life. Each word is a personal testimony of his battle with depression. The song is followed by a metaphorical video which depicts the floating human body, a condition that is identified with depression. “Drive” accelerates and brings back that happiness and adds a bit of aggression in vocal interpretation and punkish vibe.
Maybe Neofelis Nebulosa served us only three songs, but a lot of diversity, high quality music, clean production, great melodies, well played guitars but first of all, not less important, infectious riffs that drive you through the whole EP (close to 13 minutes).
“EP1” is a successful, colorful, exciting debut EP. Looking forward to hear what the Parisians will deliver in the future. Neofelis Nebulosa brought me back to my teenage days and I am grateful for that.