Už Jsme Doma — Pohádky Ze Zapotrebí
(Skoda SK0007-2, 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, 1996-08-01:If one is wondering how to pronounce the title of the fourth album by this equally unpronounceable Czech sextet, don't feel too bad — the writer is in essentially the same boat. Just call it UJD #4. Having followed this band since their 1990 album Uprostred Slov, each successive release has seen a further distillation of their unique character, and a band growing into an extremely powerful and cohesive unit. While many of the earmarks of great progressive rock music are here in abundance (the difficult time signatures, fast changes and oblique melodic twists), their music is delivered with punk-rock urgency — a no-frills production style, shouted vocals, growling bass and a buzzing intensity throughout. There are strong folk elements within their compositions as well, but no flabby synths or gimmicky effects, this is outstanding musicianship at its most basic, with no disguises in tow. The lineup is guitar (sometimes two), piano (but not always), bass, tenor sax, drums, and percussion, with occasional extra winds and brass... and plenty of frantic vocals from four of the members. Their style is unique and instantly identifiable, at times recalling some of the weird art-pop stylings of bands like Debile Menthol, but pushed to the energetic limits and then some. This is music to challenge the senses and break the barriers, a perfect anecdote for those looking to escape the bland excesses of the standard fare. Recommended.
by Mike Grimes, 1996-08-01:It's a pretty rare event when I can honestly compare a CD reviewed in this magazine to both Devo and Madness, so I'm going to make the most of it here. The Devo comparisons are actually quite numerous — frantically paced music, liberal adherence to tempos, keys, and time signatures, bass parts that sound like they were written for some other song. One of the vocalists for Už Jsme Doma is a vocal carbon copy of Mark Mothersbaugh to boot! It's pretty scary actually when you think about it. I keep expecting them to launch into "Sloppy." The frequent and dominant tenor sax parts really do sound like something from Madness too. Not all of the album, however, is based in the wonderful world of late 70s punk and new wave. The other main influence appears to be folk. It's quite different to hear Devo vocals over waltz music in 3/4. Somehow, Už Jsme Doma even manage to throw in some softer piano led tracks like the serene opening to "Bila Hol." The blue ribbon for this album goes to the drummer for the truly berserk drums in "Kouzelnik." If you're been looking for the latest in new wave folk, the search can end with Už Jsme Doma.
by Alain Lachapelle, 1996-08-01:There is a distinct Eastern European feeling to this. Be it in the stern voices over syncopated binary rhythms where saxophones are rarely making notes lasting longer than a third of a second. Be it the way harmonies are made, balancing on the RIO/punk borders, while everything is mostly delivered at full throttle, with frantic yet simple drumming, flurries of sax notes accenting rhythmically the chords, and structural bases revolving around short repetitive lines in some kind of augmented or diminished mode. I'm reminded at times of a heavy Forever Einstein on steroids. Lyrics are in Czech and rendered with that special touch that would make the Russian Anthems Fan Club jealous, when they are not simply talked or shouted over hyper-syncopated lines played with what seems all the joyousness that could characterize the Leningrad Cowboys on a severe overdose of caffeine. In this stormy blend, which isn't typical prog fare at all, we may find very few resting, calmer places, but the tension is almost always there. The musicianship is apt, and of notice, the bass player who, with his strong yet supple fast bass lines, revolves around and over the drumming. UJD is rather bare-sounding, the complete and direct antithesis of symphonic rock. Now, it is an interesting disc, nevertheless, with lots of busy instruments played flawlessly. I wonder what effect the first opening pieces could have, when played full blast on the sound system, on the local ecosystem. maybe it could make milk curdle in a matter of minutes. Or make mosquitoes spit blood. It's also interesting to find UJD quoted in a prog rock context, as it is definitively showing that prog encompasses a lot more than what could be glimpsed in a not too exhaustive overview. Punk prog? Thrash prog? By now, it's obvious that this is not recommended to Pendragon and other neo-prog amateurs. Rather, Pohádky Ze Zapotrebí could find its way starting with RIO fans, most likely. A stunning way to underline your serving of vodka at your next party.
Related artist(s): Už Jsme Doma
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more