Psí Vojáci

Horící Holubi

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For the non-Czech speaking enthusiast of Psí Vojáci's music, Horící Holubi stands as an undecipherable monument, an impenetrable cathedral. Even for those who can understand Filip Topol's lyrics, this CD represents a very different side of the group, much more demanding. This concept album rests on the sole shoulders of the words. Topol narrates, declaims, and screams but hardly ever sings this story of spiritual unrest. The conceptual album is split in three parts. "Knez Predbehl Tramvaj -- Jeste Nic Neví" begins with a soft vibraphone motif. The ten-note melody will become the leitmotiv of the whole album. Picked up by the synthesized church organ, it takes lugubrious Gothic overtones. After this overture follows a suite of 14 short pieces all lumped into one track of 35 minutes. They work like flashbacks, scenes from the past of the main character (a priest). "Knez Se Krizuje a Tramvaj Stojí" picks up the main theme again for the conclusion. The problem with Horící Holubi, whether you understand the story or not, is the weak music backing it. Reduced to a trio (Topol on keyboards, David Skála on drums, Ludek Horky on bass and guitar), Psí Vojáci plays simplistic, slow grooves and atmospheres to underpin the narrator's words. The whole work is dominated by a looming, alienating religious spectre. Topol sticks to his synthesizers throughout except for one liberating segment of piano, but that's not enough to allow the music to soar. Lyrically ambitious, the album lacks strong songwriting.