When Particles Collide
Fade To Gold
It’s easy to be romanced by the idea of “natural talent.” We love stories about people tossing off works of genius with a shrug, like Paul McCartney dreaming the melody to “Yesterday,” or Michael Jackson knocking out the vocals to “Billie Jean” in one take. Those stories tend to leave out the endless, speed-fueled Hamburg sets where Paul cut his teeth, or Michael’s relentless voice training. It’s less romantic, but it’s true — the greats practice. It’s a lesson that hasn’t been lost on the feisty, versatile Bangor duo When Particles Collide. In June 2017, Sasha Alcott (guitar/vocals) and Chris Viner (drums/vocals) quit their day jobs and began their crowdsourced “Unstoppable Tour.” Upwards of 200 shows later, they’re still going. So it absolutely tracks that on its new EP, Fade To Gold, WPC is at the top of its game, harmonizing and thrashing as one. In fact, they’re confident enough to kick things off quietly. “We’re Gonna Need You Now” is fearlessly sparse — just a piano and their committed, theatrical vocal interplay. “Now we must pull up the roots and fly, my love, out West,” they sing, Alcott’s falsetto and Viner’s bass tremolo united by a migratory pull. Then, before we can regain our footing, “Bell Jar” arrives to knock us on our asses. Alcott’s riff is spidery lightning, Viner’s drums its thunderous shadow. They mine similar lodes of feedback-drenched alt-rock for the balance of Fade To Gold, each track watermarked with a fiery vocal inflection or unexpected melodic quirk that makes it undeniably theirs. It’s exciting to think about them continuing this perpetual tour, and somehow getting even tighter.