There is a degree of grittiness in Particle Wave’s third album, Grand Unifier. Combine all of that with ghostly melodies, surf sounds, psychedelic music, and new school garage rock and you have one heck of an extraordinary album. Eleven original tracks with their own sound yet still come together sonically to deliver an album that stands out among the current crop of indie/alternative releases. Grand Unifier opens with its haunting title track, a spooky number which would compliment any number of David Lynch films. That leads into the fast, heavy sleek guitar track “Mr. Lonely,” easily one of the best tracks on Grand Unifier. The heart-felt ballad “I Know” has a bit of a rockabilly feel but its lyrics will certainly tell you all you need to know where lead singer Greg Maechling is coming from. “But when your light is gone, there’s nothing more for me to see. And when your love is gone, there’s nothing more here for me.” “More I Can Do,” reminds us, courtesy of these California rockers, that surf music is alive and well with this fun 60’s beach vibe tune that’s meant to be played in a ragtop on your way to the beach, surfboard sticking out. “Know It’s Right” is the number you play after you’ve settled in for a day of doing nothing but sitting under the sun, checking out some beach honeys. “I Don’t Notice” is what you get when you combine Wilco’s retrospective lyrics with Interpol’s polished garage rock sound and the result is quite good. “Come Home” can easily find itself a place on regular rotation on college or alternative radio, its trademark being its spacey guitar licks. The final track “Wish Them Peace,” is perfectly placed at the closing of Grand Unifier; a sweet, heartfelt ending to old friendships as one moves onto the next stage of their growing up and thanking them for helping them along the way. Particle Wave can rightfully claim to be a group that’s changing the sound and direction of current alt rock into a positive path with Grand Unifier, an album not afraid to recognize its influence, but also adding plenty of original music and solid lyrics into the mix. It’s an album that is cool, free of filler material, just one enjoyable track after another. It is one of the gems of 2014.
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Particle Wave is the Grand Unifier – examiner.com
March 9, 2014
Particle Wave is a band centered on psychedelic rock. Based in Los Angeles, the sound of the surf echo throughout an ethereal and modernistic mix of exquisitely crafted rhythms and lyrics that are enjoyable and deliver a balance of the easy and the hard elements of rock music. Their third studio album, Grand Unifier, is a euphonious and pliant music collection.
The opener which happens to be the title track is a tuneful journey through an ambient lyrical landscape. Lead vocalist Greg Maechling feels at home within the piece and that is always exceptional to notice as it gives a song more feeling and depth. “I Know” offers a kind of Wilco vibe and brings to mind visions of beach waves, and the sunshine, even though the lyrics appear to be about love and the many emotions that come from being in a relationship.
“Know It’s Right” takes it up a notch and blares through the speakers into the ears of the listener. It is pure rock, sounding as a nod to the old and the new in alternative music; while “Welcome You In,” is a swaying melody that is just as calming as “I Know,” but appears to focus on the instrumentation and production rather than the lyrics. The final track “Wish Them Peace” is quite possibly the favorite of the reviewer as Maechling’s vocals once again feel at home, and the song is a mix of the tense and excitement of rock music coupled with unhurried and undemanding side of the genre.
Particle Wave found a way to merge a myriad of rhythms, pushing the envelope of conventional alternative. The result is an album that sounds more refined and fearless, presenting a lavish and extensively elaborate picture of what music can be.
Final Grade: A
Particle Wave’s ‘Grand Unifier’ is Punkabillyicious
If Nirvana had a baby with rockabilly, you’d have a pretty good idea about what Particle Wave’s third record Grand Unifier is all about. The album is definitely in the zip code of Punkabilly. The title track “Grand Unifier” reflects a kind of loose punk with a strummy rockabilly feel. But the band describes themselves at psych rock and surf-gaze. Okay. Sure. They’d know better than me. They took the drugs.
“I Know” stands out as a crooner SoCal piece of sunshine. “Mr. Lonely” is lovely in its sheer odd ball coolness. This is an album that David Lynch could get behind. Grand Unifier is all kinds of gnarly goodness and just the thing for a day at the beach while you wax your board and hit the waves, tripping balls.
This is also a pure Cali record. The band not only recorded in their old stomping grounds at New Monkey in Van Nuys, California, they also evoked the sun, sand and whoaness that is this particular cost. In fact, Particle Wave nails it.
Grand Unifier is an ethereal record, calling out the ghosts of 70s SoCal and inviting them to dance in the machinery. It’s also a little English rock at times. Great for driving, strolling, lying on your roof, in the large courtyard of your castle…
So the next time you see Roy Orbison and Kurt Cobain having a beach blanket bingo party, you didn’t drop acid. You probably just listened to Grand Unifier by Particle Wave.
Particle Wave’s Grand Unifier from Middle Tennessee Music
“By stepping into the past, Particle Wave has conjured up its vision for the future.” (from band bio) When long-time friends Chase Harris, Brian Arthurs and Bryce Stoddart teamed up with songwriter Greg Maechling in 2006, Particle Wave began its journey through the oceans of sound. With two albums under their belt, this LA based quartet is back with a new record, Grand Unifier. Particle Wave reconvened in late 2013 at New Monkey Studios in Van Nuys, California. This was the site of their first release, 2009′s Interference Pattern. In the spirit of staying familiar, the band brought back producer Nick Luca who also worked on that first project. The result was a comfortable vibe that helped the band focus on creating their most challenging recording to date. Grand Unifier is a wave of enlightening psych-garage-surf-gaze-rock that pays homage to the band’s classic rock roots while delivering a unique blend of noises, grooves, and melodies to create a modern garage rock soundscape. These 11 songs make me think of Pink Floyd jamming with the Beach Boys and Wilco in the SoCal surf while trying to decide if bringing in Nick Cave from the Bad Seeds would be a good idea. This album is relaxing, bittersweet, complex yet simple, but somehow remains well balanced. It is quite the experience. Grand Unifier does not drop until March 25, 2014 but you can pre-order on Bandcamp and check out the previous two albums on Particle Wave’s website.
After that, go connect with the band on Facebook or Twitter.