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’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.
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.
“Particle Wave rocks out with their debut, Interference Pattern. A true rock album rooted in classic rock but with elements of psychedelic, alt, and indie. You hear whispers of Roxy Music, The Cars, Brian Eno and Chris Connelly. This is a great debut with a good mix of fast and slow tracks with a pure rock sound.”
- from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia
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“Particle Wave’s sound on Interference Pattern is a classic rock style supplemented by some creative melodies and harmonies, while the ‘elements of noise rock’ give the group their ’sonic foundation’. It’s a low-key experience for sure–the music is nicely chilled out, even when uptempo, and the layering gives the sound a nice heaviness. Start with tracks 2 and 3.”
- from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia
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