A cacophony of frenzied riffs, energetic beats and chant-worthy lyrics, Palberta‘s fifth album Palberta5000 buzzes with poppy enthusiasm, but remains firmly informed by DIY punk tendencies. The New York trio focused on writing catchy songs that lasted “longer than 50 seconds” for this new record, but they maintain their raw riot grrrl appeal by intricately threading their unpredictable time signatures with their habitual observations about ordinary life.
“While punk music was our first love, pop music has become our fixation,” the trio explain. “Throughout the making of Palberta5000, we were focused on making music that people could not only sing along to, but get stuck in their heads.” This evolution towards the softer side of things is best appreciated via the band’s lush, overlapping vocal harmonies. They soften more discordant tracks like ‘Something In The Way’ and make songs like ‘Red Antz’ ring with an effortless charm.
Across sixteen songs, the band flit between marching-band rhythms, buoyant guitar riffs and blasts of cathartic, joyful noise. The manic sounding ‘Eggs n’ Bac’ and ‘I’m Z’done’ – a 20 second instrumental – are examples of the latter, whilst tracks like ‘Corner Store’ and ‘Before I Got Here’ feel more considered and fleshed out. The trio have toyed with tempos too. ‘Hey!’ lives up to the punctuation in its title, whereas ‘The Cow’ soothes the ears with its strung out guitars and the reassuring lyric “I will be there with my hand on your chest / I feel your rumbling internal mess.”
Together, Nina Ryser, Ani Ivry-Block and Lily Konigsberg have crafted a record that explores the juxtaposition of anxiety and joy without diluting either emotion. Considering it’s the trio’s fifth offering, Palberta5000 packs an aural punch – but it’s one that feels more like a teasing jab on the arm from a friend when you’re hanging around outside the ‘Corner Store’.
Photo Credit: Chloe Carrasco