Particle Wave Washes on a Distant Shore

Los Angeles-based Particle Wave is a 4-man band with the ability to make you smile. Their third studio album, titled Grand Unifier, is scheduled for release on 25th March, 2014. Much of this 11- track album is California sunshine meets British 60’s beat groups. Psychedelia and surf rock is carried by gorgeous, gorgeous guitars; the result is timeless.

Their producer, Nick Luca, who has worked with the band previously, comes with great credentials having produced Calexico and Iron and Wine. Title track, Grand Unifier, kicks off the album, a silky-smooth vocal over dreamy, reverberating guitar work invoking surf crashing on the rocks. Come Home is another track with wonderfully layered guitar work.

The 1960s is channelled in many guises, including the slower, melancholic I Know and the rock ‘n’ roll of More I Can Do. Know It’s Right is great for doing some crazy 60’s dance moves to! With an early Pink Floyd vibe from the playful Syd Barrett era, G Down Pattern is a kind of West Coast wave rippling across the River Cam, but with angry lyrics.  What You’re After has more aggressive guitar work and is the heaviest of the tracks. Grand Unifier ends with a paean to friendship, Wish Them Peace, with a particularly expressive vocal from the band’s songwriter, Greg Maechling.

Obviously, the past is honoured here, but this is no mere nostalgia fest. One of the accurate comparisons given to them is Tame Impala. However many influences there are, Particle Wave is distinctly individual. Lyrics paint darkness as well as light, despite the lush guitars.

I wanted to make a clever observation about how their band name reflects their music, so I looked up “particle wave”. It’s something to do with quantum mechanics. Didn’t understand a thing. Oh, well. Here’s a thought:  pour yourself a bubble bath, light the scented candles and just have a listen….