The Czech ensemble Uz Jsme Doma
debuted in 1985, with tenor saxophonist Jinda Dolansky soon remaining the only
survivor of the original line-up. Singer and keyboardist
Mirek Wanek and guitarist Romek Hanzlik joined in 1986, and Wanek quickly established himself
as the main composer.
They played highly creative and dynamic music in a style that recalled both
new wave and progressive-rock but with punk-rock overtones.
Their compositions mixed cabaret, folk, Japanese noise-rock,
ethnic music, classical music, funk, ska, hard-rock, alternatively evoking
Captain Beefheart, the
Uprostred Slov/ In the Middle of Words (1990), with the nine-minute
Nemilovany Svet/ Unloved World (1991), with the eleven-minute Tangrest,
Hollywood (1993), that marked a turn towards more ordinary songwriting,
Pohadky ze Zapotrebi/Fairytales from Needland (1995),
Jaro Peklo Podzim Zima/ Spring Hell Fall Winter (1996).
The compilations Czeching In (Skoda, 1996) and Fifteen Drops Of Water publicized them beyond their
Usi/Ears (Skoda, 1999) established them as a major creative
force alongside bands like Species Being.
Rybi Tuk (Indies, 2004) was another slab of convoluted musical breakdown,
juxtaposing catchy melodies, vocal acrobatics and rhythmic fury.
Meanwhile the lineup had changed around Wanek and now included bassist Pepa Cervinka, drummer Tomas Paleta and trumpeter Adam Tomasek.
Live at Archa/ Pudding Documentary (Indies MG Records, 2007)
is a double dvd that contains a live concert and a documentary.
The trumpet dominates the atmospheres of
Caves/ Jeskyne (Cuneiform, 2010), whether in the
exuberant fanfare Droplet/ Kapka or the
anthemic singalong Abyss/ Propast.
Sometimes they lean towards heavy metal (Reel/ Navijak) or punk-rock
(Shelter/ Ukryt) and other times
towards folk music (Ceilings/ Stropy), but always maintaining their
unique granitic sound.
The album suffers from the same limitations of all the albums since Hollywood: a passion for the song format that ultimately places too much emphasis
on (mediocre) melodies.
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