Cerny Mosty

Cerny Korení

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Cerny Mosty (Black Bridges) is a band that plays a mean, gritty blues-rock. Granted, Czech lyrics (or Jan Ptácník's accent when singing in English) do sound unusual in this context -- to say the least -- but this sextet does have potential international appeal. Cerny Korení (Black Spices) packs a punch, thanks to good songwriting, Ptácník's gravelly voice, Viliam Béres' Hammond spits, and the dual guitars of Jiri Fiser and Vladimír Kaplan. Influences run all over the place, from John Lee Hooker to Jimi Hendrix. "Whisky z Cernych Slunecnic" breaks into a Santana-like chorus, while "Tobacco Road" has the flavor of old Deep Purple (the singer even attempts to produce a Ian Gillan trademark scream, with mitigated results). If the Santana twist sounds tacky, it is also too deliberate not to be enjoyable. "Tobacco Road" is definitely the highlight of this album. Instead of sticking to an extended jam, the band uses its eight minutes of duration to make some inspired pinpoint turns. It also features a three-piece horn section and one mean guitar solo. Purists will probably complain about the very existence of Eastern European blues, but fans of vintage-sounding blues-rock with an eye on late-'60s rock could be pleasantly surprised.

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