"This Town" By When Particles Collide (Bangor, ME)/Hard Rock/Released May 2015
For the most part, the New England state of Maine is mostly known for moose, seafood cuisine, and Stephen King. However the high powered, one-two punch of Bangor rockers When Particles Collide are out to prove there’s some excellent rock and roll to be found there as well.
Singer-songwriter Sasha Alcott and drummer Chris Viner met in 2010 after both being cast in a local musical. Six months later the duo formed When Particles collide and have spent the last six years heavily touring the U.S. and playing hundreds of shows as well as recording multiple EPs and albums. With the strength of their hook-laden songs, high energy live shows, and hard touring work ethic, the band have been making a mark bringing their trademark “unstoppable rock” nationwide.
WPC’s latest studio release “This Town” was released last year and acts as a tribute to friends of the group who passed away as well as an ode to the culture of their hometown of Bangor. Also with this release comes a slight difference in sound compared to their previous albums. Upbeat rhythms,rapid fire drum fills, and anthemic choruses are signatures of the group’s songs. However with “This Town” the album features a darker tone compared to past releases and a shift to more mid tempo and straight forward hard rock material.
Many of the duo’s signature traits do remain on this album. Alcott’s poetic lyricism is highlighted by her emotive vocal style. Ranging from soft and delicate lilts to full lunged and powerful. The full bodied guitar tones cover the high range of a six string as well as the low end of a bass. And Chris Viner’s skilled drumming fills all the space needed to bridge the rhythms to the melodies. Between the catchy vocal melodies, riff focused guitar work, and dynamic percussion it’s easy to forget all the audio hitting your ears is performed by only two people.
The lead song and title track opens the six song album and comes accompanied with a music video. This song is more reminiscent of the group’s earlier material with its upbeat melody and big chorus. Track two and personal favorite “Ancient Future” starts the harder rock, middle section of the record and features a driving guitar riff and bouncy rhythm. “Storm Cloud” may be the most heavy song on the album with dark riffs, tom tom drum beats, and added cellos for a hair raising atmosphere. :”These Stories” alternate between a fast, driving, verse riff and a slower tempo pop chorus. “There Are Some Things” is a lighter track with a sing along chorus. And closing the album is “We Know”, A stripped down track that keeps it simple and allows the focus to be on the vocals.
“This Town” is a great expansion to the When Particles Collide discography and definitely shows a lot can be accomplished with just guitar, drums and vocals. It maintains the sound they’ve become known for as while also exploring new textures and style, The duo plans to keep up their prolific recording streak with another album to be released in June titled Ecotone which will surely have the twp unstoppable rockers trekking the nation on another highly anticipated tour.