The NYC trio Palberta perform rich and invigorating indie punk on their vibrant new record Palberta5000, available via Wharf Cat Records.
The album is a bright and genuinely rather fun-feeling listen. Overall, the compelling songs feel like musical vignettes capturing fleeting moments of everyday life that might otherwise go overlooked or underappreciated.
Structurally, Palberta really run with their hooks — their music largely floats free of verse-chorus-verse structures. Instead, the group performs repetitious but breezy songs that seem to powerfully capture a buoyant emotional state of traversing through the often swirling experiences of life. It’s like a smiling look at some of the hidden guiding emotional threads of everyday experiences, with a bit of a trippy edge thanks to the repetitious melodies but an intriguingly earthy grounding in rather unmistakable exuberance.
Ultimately, Palberta explore a flourishing range of styles on Palberta5000. Jangling but forward-moving melodies open the album on “No Way,” which builds into a closing segment of forceful repetition hinging on the contemplative and poignant line: “Calling your name out, it’s all the same now.” There’s a smooth swagger in much of the music as the album proceeds, with some splashy groove helping guide the entrancing experience through standout moments (among many) like “All Over My Face,” which appears towards the end of the record. Meanwhile, “Fragile Place” — the album’s fifth track — features a rather drum-centric sound, “Eggs n’ Bac'” (the album’s tenth track) feels particularly brisk, and the album as a whole closes with the propulsive groove (and horns) of “Before I Got Here.”
There’s a very free-flowing and emotionally enlivening energy in the music, which seems to explore thematic areas in which a sense of familiar stability begins to dissolve, and Palberta never sound particularly bleak or downtrodden while venturing through this space. Instead, there’s a bit of a dreamy catharsis, as though walking through unfamiliar streets and taking in the sights of bright shop signs, showy theater displays, and whatever else might be present.
A sense of subtle wonder seems to course through the music, and the journey feels very personally accessible, as the band apply this wonder to an everyday paradigm. The band roll out their indie punk instrumentals, which hinge on familiar elements of guitar, bass, and drums, with a sort of ethereal pop spirit. They’ve injected breathing space into the paradigm as if pushing away the clouds while in a lucid dream, and the songs ultimately sound super compelling.
Listen to Palberta5000 below!