THE PARTICLES - "1980S BUBBLEGUM" LP
There's a reason all your most shut-in aus music nerd mates are flipping out over Chapter finally pulling off the long awaited Particles reissue. Has there been a more lovingly ripped off band? Well now the secret's out, bucko!
Formed in the late 70s in the muck of Sydney's punk sharehouse scene, The Particles took the slacked drive of that sound, stripped away the aggression, and instead used it to inform their incredibly infectious take on guitar pop.
Over the course of three years the band produced three singles, each pushing their sound in a slightly different, more refined direction. Listening to them back to back beautifully illustrates this - they get tighter and more experiential as the LP goes on, letting go of their scrappy roots and leaving more room in their songs for layered melodies and playful harmonies.
Given their cult status, Chapter have given the band an appropriately thorough reissue treatment, including not only their three singles but also alternate takes, unreleased songs, a full Live At The Wireless session, and extensive liner notes.
"(I have) two fantastic singles by The Particles...they are two of my most prized vinyl possessions” – Carrie Brownstein (Sleater Kinney) on NPR
The Particles formed at the height of the punk movement in Sydney, Australia in 1977, and spent their early years hanging out with punk legends The Saints. But by their first recordings in 1979 they were something else entirely – pioneers of infectiously melodic, playfully subversive indie pop. They deserve to be held up alongside contemporaries such as Orange Juice or Television Personalities, and 1980s Bubblegum makes a strong case for this with the first overview of their sporadic recording career.
Guitarist Peter Williams and vocalist Astrid Spielman were the core of the group, surviving numerous lineups until the band dissolved in the mid 80s. Other bandmates include members of Chapter DIY heroes The Cannanes and fondly-remembered indie pop band The Lighthouse Keepers. The Particles only released three seven inch EPs and a handful of compilation tracks, but their scant recorded work is laden with inventive, irresistible pop hits.
After self-releasing two EPs Colour In (1980) and Advanced Colouring (1981), their final EP I Luv Trumpet (1983) was the second ever release on iconic Sydney label Waterfront Records. This makes The Particles unlikely labelmates with the likes of Nirvana, L7 and Henry Rollins, who all went on to release records via Waterfront in Australia in the 90s.
On 1980s Bubblegum, Chapter Music presents every known recording by the Particles, including digital bonus tracks from the first ever Triple J Live At the Wireless session in 1983. The LP features extensive liner notes based on interviews with bandmembers.
Sadly, Astrid Spielman passed away in 2015, but the sheer joyful magic of her and Peter’s music lives on with 1980s Bubblegum.
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