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
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.