Rising like a Phoenix from the underground Denver rock quartet Planetary Nebula is geared up for the release of it's second full length album, 'Ornamental.' To describe the new album the band asks fans to imagine post-punk through a soul-jazz lens. The band is celebrating it's fifth year together and continues to merge the audacious power of post-modern rock n' soul with the forward gaze of progressive rock. In addition to the core members of the group, Planetary Nebula has added a live percussionist to it's already expansive sound. The band also plays host to different horn players and backing singers. To see this band live is to not know what will happen next. Usually, even they don't. So, who are these guys? Bassist/vocalist Paul Leonard and singer/guitarist Mike Wolf have been playing together in bands since 1997 and their cohesion on stage is obvious. Paul Leonard's bass lines recall the melodic free flow of early jam bands, though he is known to bring the funk from time to time. Mike Wolf's chiming Rickenbacker guitar is augmented by his booming lead vocals that leap from a hushed tenor to a soulful wail within the space of a single song. Guitarist/vocalist Jason Campbell has a wonderfully fluid approach to the guitar and his solos and arpeggios grab hold of the songs just as much as his punishing rhythm drives them. The interplay between two lead guitar players, influenced by such bands as Television and Built to Spill, is often the door to thoughtful improvisation. Planetary Nebula is rounded out and held together by drummer Joel Rieck, a founding member of the band who took four years off to play college basketball at Northern Arizona University. Due to his hard-hitting complexity, he spends his free time at the local drum store buying new drum heads to punish. In the live setting, it's his jazz-influenced command of the small kit that keeps the band tight and focused. In the spring of 2004 the band released the 'Mirror EP' to great acclaim. A percussive batch of pop, gospel and space rock, the EP's track 'Honesty' received airplay on both sides of the radio dial. PN's first album, 'Synapsus' has the feel of a good road trip album recalling such influences as early R.E.M and Radiohead. With activity at an all-time high for the band it is a special time for Planetary Nebula. They recently finished a collection of improvised pieces entitled 'Free the Rock' available on planetarynebula.com and the band is playing shows every month. So look for the new album in stores and on the web April 26th and keep an eye out for Planetary Nebula's live experience: it should not be missed. Planetarynebulamusic@hotmail.com.