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Ral Partha Vogelbacher | The More Nice Fey Elven Gnomes are Hiding in my Toilet Again (Megalon)
The secret twins of Will Oldham and M Ward hole-up in a secret San Francisco location, a small-town microcosm where nylon strung guitars set the tone, and Lullaby For The Working Class are the house-band. Herein nine lo-fi flights of fancy are formed, the problem brain-child of Chadwick Bidwell and associates, collectively Ral Partha Vogelbacher. Forthcoming single, the snappily titled The Sunshine Hates Sadko's Guts and Wants to Eat His Brains, opens things with Bidwell's husky drawl double tracked over an acoustic guitar and occasional buzzing electric. This is the set-up for much of the record, subtly employed mandolin or random bursts of noise making brief cameos, adding coloration and character to the intimate, confessional vibe. Despite the lyrical obtuseness and dungeons and dragons titling policy (e.g. To Every King, a Deathbed. To Every Siege a Victor) Bidwell and Co. conjure 24 minutes of beguiling, memorable kookiness that reveal their charms through repeated listens.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #9 - Winter 2002