Comes with a Smile # reviews
issues | the songs | interviews | reviews | images | web exclusives | top 10 | history | search

cwas#13 / cwas#12 / cwas#11 / cwas#9 / cwas#8 / cwas#7
cwas#6 / cwas#4 / all reviews / search

Ral Partha Vogelbacher | Kite Vs Obelisk (Monotreme)
The second album by the suitably bizarrely named Ral Partha Vogelbacher, 'Kite Vs Obelisk' contains some of the strangest song-titles and lyrics in recent memory. A San Francisco outfit centred around Chadwick Bidwell's schizophrenic ramblings, RPV have partly inherited Pavement's grasp of skew-whiff melodies, where lo-fi doodles are matched by fully fleshed-out abstractions. Yet it's always Bidwell's way around surreal sentiments and firm grasp of Will Oldham's impenetrable turn of phrase that stands out, often confusing as much as enlightening.
At times, these words are so oblique and quirky that it can become extremely trying, yet songs like Walking A Sickly Bobcat South Of Your Cedar Infested Estate and Kite Carry Obelisk Over Lake Victoria are two of the most memorable things not written by the likes of Bill Callaghan in some time. For tunes that venture all over the place and yet somehow find their way back out again, Ral Partha Vogelbacher are certainly the boys to seek out. And truth be told, it's been some time since Steve Malkmus warbled over anything quite this pleasingly perplexing.

Ian Fletcher
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003