-123 Min.


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If you get your hands on Try, don't look at the musicians' names or their website address. Listen. There is nothing here that could tell you these guys are not from the United States of America -- not even an accent in Zdenek Bína's voice to give away the group's Czech nationality. That's the most difficult aspect in reviewing this album. Since the group displays no local flavor whatsoever and chooses to behave like an American band, one needs to follow that standard when judging Try. Bína and cohorts are obviously talented rock musicians. The problem is, they cruelly lack originality and need to better digest their influences. Each track becomes a tribute to this or that artist -- at least that's how it sounds to North American ears. Take "I See You Shine": Santana, obvious in the Latin feel and the carbon copy guitar solo. Other examples include Lenny Kravitz, Creed, Barenaked Ladies, even Big Ass Truck (or is that just a dream?) in "Seriously" and an attempt at Screaming Headless Torsos in "Soul Surgery." The music takes every direction between Latin-tinged rock and funk-pop, running the whole spectrum of adult rock music one can cover with a guitar/bass/drums trio (occasionally augmented by a Hammond organ player to grab that Medeski, Martin & Wood vibe). -123 Minutes' music is not bad, not at all. Bína's voice can be very pleasant, the trio is tight -- a class act. But why would you want a Czech ersatz version of music so easy to find here?

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