Shitheads in the Ditch brings the second full-length from Upstate New York’s eminent punk queens, Palberta. Lily, Ani and Nina let loose, physically, and create the most feeling music I’ve heard in a long time. It’s perfectly placed dissonance—grit, shrieks, creaks and all. The rough tones turn Palberta’s herky-jerky cadence into a god damn emotional roller coaster. Something so perfectly discordant it’s harmonious, it’s the type of music that takes your chest and center of gravity along for a powerful ride.
Most times, Palberta takes the free form, like on “she don’t got it” with fitful string scratching and squeals buoyed in clipped moans. “all the way” drives along with syncopated vocals, from squeal to scream to straight delivery. Even when they stick to standard melodic structure, like on “my plan”, dark, absurdist vocal tones and distorted guitar overshadow the song’s initial cutesy sensibility that ends in a riotous squall. It’s fucking sick.
Each of the 10 tracks on Shitheads in the Ditch is a rough harmony of wrong. Their quick cuts are instinctive, as layered as the vocals, and with something staccato always going on somewhere in the mix. Though some songs build, like “ring the roundup”, the soaring notes at the crescendo never give you a polished resolution. Whether the songs on the self-released album were orchestrated or reconstructed from pure jam sessions is hard to say. How it got here doesn’t matter. It’s here and it’s astounding.
Listen to Shitheads in the Ditch, streaming below and available for $5 on Bandcamp. If you’re so moved and in the area, you can catch Palberta around New York state in October, dates below.
04 Brooklyn, NY @ Palisades w/ Jeff Lewis and the Jrams and Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers (Brooklyn)
16 Annandale-on-Hudson, NY @ Bard College w/ Buck Gooter, Skimask & Flaming Dragons of Middle Earth
24 Queens, NY @ Trans Pecos w/ NOATS
25 New Paltz, NY @ Writer’s Block w/NOATS
26 Annandale-on-Hudson, NY @ Bard College w/ NOATS