Elektrobus

Nedefinitivni

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Nedefinitivni was released by the Czech label Black Point in 2001 as part of its Archiv series. It gathers live recordings from 1975-1976 by one of the most influential avant-rock groups in communist Czechoslovakia. Of course, the sound quality is poor -- rock concerts were illegal, let alone recording them. But if one is willing to look over some tape noise, muffled sounds, and signal overload, Nedefinitivni has a lot to offer, especially to fans of '90s alternative Czech rock, progressive rock fans, and Frank Zappa fans. Drummer Vlastimil Marek and guitarist Pavel Richter were dedicated Zappa followers. It shows in their writing ("Dumka" is simply stunning), but also in their set list. Renditions of "King Kong," "I'm the Slime," "Muffin Man" (these two sung in Czech), and a surprising "Theme From Lumpy Gravy" cohabit with Elektrobus' originals. The longest tracks show his influence, but also an interest in prog rock in general (maybe even Henry Cow), while the shorter ones are inhabited by the zaniness of early Uz Jsme Doma: high-pitched vocals, grunts, and unexpected twists and turns (another comparison would be a keyboard-less Samla Mammas Manna). Most of the performances are musically very strong, with a peak reached in "Mojo Hlava Neni Zdrava," "Dumka," and "Strach" -- a very powerful closing section. This CD has historical value (these are the only live documents of this band) and exciting music for the curious listener not offended by sound-quality issues.

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