Articles from the Boston Compass

Feedback Loop #8: Palberta / Raising the Bar


Written by Wes Kaplan in this month’s Boston Compass

I can see “When I Come’s” fanfare replacing stick clicks as standard count off procedure. If it sounds like someone picking up a guitar for the first time, maybe that’s the point – it’s as if Palberta became a band the moment it occurred to them to start one.

They came down from Annandale-on-Hudson for their first Boston show last month, and totally exceeded the already high expectations you couldn’t help bringing to the occasion. They brought the vibe and the noise as much as anyone, but the mystery raised by their record of who does what only got more complicated. My Pal Berta, their one full length so far, is as balanced a chemistry as you’ve heard – three voices totally distinct yet totally balanced all going at once. Yet it turns out live, Ani, Lily and Nina switch instruments like every three songs. True expansion of the body.

It left me wondering whether this all represents the new difference between a band and a group of dudes who get together once in awhile to play rehearsed material together. The clincher was that not a breath between tunes was wasted on banter; the skits between tunes practically stole the show. But it’s nice to come back to the record, which is as raucous as it is minimal – as much space between the sounds as the sounds themselves. Which leaves room for you.

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