Reviewed by: Michael Winsall
Particle is the fourth album in five years by Melbourne psychedelic pop outfit Coloured clocks, proving that quantity and quality do not have to be mutually exclusive.
There’s a certain cruelty to reviewing this album in the middle of a heatwave, having to stare at the album art for Particles, which is just a delicious looking pink ice cream on a blue background. Thankfully, listening to this album conjures up enough positive images of summer that you could forget that you live in a house with no Air Conditioning.
Immediately after starting the opening track, “The craziest street that there has ever been”, you start to ask “what even is psychedelic pop?”. Much like calling a band “Rock” or “Metal”, it doesn’t really tell you a great deal about their sound. And in saying that, if you only listened to the first track you would think this album is a modern re-tread of Division Bells by Pink Floyd. However, moving through the next few songs on the album, including my personal favourite, “Butterflies”, their sound starts to resemble mid 50s rock and roll a la Buddy Holly, triple filtered through layers of Pink Floyd, Sgt Pepper and Donovan.
Through this distillation, Lead singer James Wallace’s melodic vocals are placed on top, helping to build their own distinct sound rather than sounding like a tribute band. Later in the album there’s a few slower, almost doo-wopish songs, as well as the incredibly catchy earworm “Coming back to you”, before rounding the album off with what every Psych band is legally required to have, a song that runs into the double digits called “the pattern particle effect”.
Particles is a great album to listen to in the middle of summer, with an ice cream cone from Mr Whippy, and a margarita or twenty. What’s more, the album is currently free from Coloured clocks’ bandcamp, giving you even less of an excuse to not go and check it out.