Particle Kid – Window Rock
Neither of Willie Nelson’s musical sons rest on their surname’s laurels and sing jazz-inspired country music out their noses. That’s not meant as trolling. It’s a fitting one-sentence description of one of America’s master musicians and storytellers. Lukas Nelson has made waves in recent years by taking lessons learned from Dad and frequent tour mate Neil Young and retelling them in his own voice. Likewise, his brother Micah’s creative mind launches into outer space from his family’s Luck Ranch when he records under the moniker Particle Kid.
Particle Kid’s latest album, Window Rock, enters our orbit as a nine-song collection that crosses electronic experimentation with heavy-hitting rock music for an extreme case of a country legend’s child paving his own way.
From the get-go, electronic beats and various bleeps and bloops bleed into unfiltered grunge badassery on “Question Song.” Other oddball takes at rock music include the herky-jerky, Deerhunter-esque “Straight Line;” hazy, neo-prog guitar showpiece “Hollows;” and the gorgeous, acoustic-based “Backwards.”
Other select cuts evade an easy description. “Variac,” for example, can best be described as sounding how breathing underwater must feel. Another oddball favorite, “Stroboscopic Light,” begins with those little robot voices in a lot of hip-hop and R&B songs. You know, the ones that sound like Matt Damon’s character in Downsizing when he’s conversing with a full-sized human. At this point, Damon’s building a discography comparable to the Wrecking Crew or Nashville’s A-Team. In all seriousness, this one resides somewhere in between fun, electronic dance music and caustic noise rock.
By bucking rock, country, and Americana standards, Micah is very much like his dad. After all, Willie shunned the Nashville establishment and played by his own rules en route to that pesky outlaw branding and, ultimately, legend status.