Monday, July 29, 2013

Music Boxers, Band Retrospectives

In the annals of music, there are a few bands that make a lasting impression. Emo-Metal legends Particle Decelerators have spent three decades leaving a mark like an armor-piercing bullet through a ham sandwich. Their first album, "Crushed Vervet" (1983), showcased their driving beats, screeching guitars, and morose lyrics, which noted Rock Beets critic James Snoofleburger described as sounding like "The Smiths on a Red Bull colada."

The band is fronted by the dynamically mopey Cruze Cahntral. Cahntral's eccentric vocals are backed by Elmer Elmerson's trademark untuned guitars, Vinnie Greengrocer's bass, and Gargantula's drums. Gargantula has one of the only home-made drum sets in professional music, and the uniqueness of the sound is evident in many of their tracks, especially when the supporting frames give way during a recording session.

Following on the heels of Vervet were "Colonoscopation" (1984) and "Budgerigargoyle" (1984), which featured the pugilistic quiet energy which launched them to superstardom. Their first world tour, from April 1985 to March 2007, was the group's first foray from their native Barstow. They returned briefly in 2011 to pick up a change of socks.

After a brief post-tour hiatus, Particle Decelerators released their fourth album, "Deflation", in 2013. While it lacked the high-adrenaline feel of their earlier work, the single "The Big Zip" rocketed up the adult contemporary charts, where it spoke to fans' arthritis and the attendant difficulty of closing pants over incontinence garments.

Enraged by the album's reception, Particle Decelerators disbanded, though there's already talk of thirtieth anniversary reunion tour.