The Particles - 1980s Bubblegum LP
Label: Chapter Music
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 a 1983 live radio session on Sydney station Triple J. The LP features extensive liner notes based on interviews with bandmembers. Astrid Spielman tragically passed away from a brain hemorrhage in 2015, but the sheer joyful magic of her and Peter's music lives on with 1980s Bubblegum.