Building on the blend of driving Southern California psych rock and surf-gaze melodies unearthed in its first two studio outings, Los Angeles-based Particle Wave raise the bar this spring with its third studio LP, Grand Unifier.
The new recording represents a brush with the past for Particle Wave, as the quartet reconvened in late 2013 at New Monkey Studios in Van Nuys, Calif., site of their first recording (2009’s Interference Pattern). Continuing on that theme, the quartet enlisted the services of producer Nick Luca (Iron and Win, Calexico, Neko Case), who also manned the boards for Interference Pattern. The sessions yielded a familiar and comfortable vibe resulting in the band’s most dense and challenging recording to date. By stepping into the past, Particle Wave has conjured up its vision for the future.
A hauntingly melodic musical and lyrical journey, Grand Unifier invokes the experience of bittersweet enlightenment balanced with simple, yet unshakable optimism. Using Interference Pattern and 2011’s sophomore effort Painting On Shadows as stepping stones, Grand Unifier delivers a humble homage to the group’s classic rock roots and influences, while expanding sonic boundaries to create a modern garage rock sound. By layering a fearless mix of ethereal effects-driven guitars riffs and complimentary keyboard licks on top of a rock-steady rhythm core, Particle Wave took aim at advancing that smooth California style and tone present in its earlier efforts. The result is authentic and lush soundscapes that are both elegant and extremely listenable.
Particle Wave’s journey began in 2006 when long-time friends Chase Harris (The Meeting Places), Brian Arthurs and Bryce Stoddart joined forces with songwriter Greg Maechling.