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Uz Jsme Doma: Ears (Usi)

Track List

>Thin Ice
>Cowboy Song

Album Reviews:

Alternative Press (10/00, p.112) - 5 out of 5 - "...An ebullient tonic for the repressed spazz within us all....a bracing blast of top-notch Czech art damage..."

Album Notes

Uz Jsme Doma: Miroslav Wanek (vocals, guitar, Kurzweil synthesizer, tambourine); Radek Podvesky (vocals, guitar); Jindra Dolansky (vocals, saxophone); Jan Cejka (vocals, bass); Petr Bohm (drums, percussion); Martin Velisek (percussion).

Additional personnel: Petr Prochazka (accordion); Pavel Langpaul (bassoon); Lad'a Kozderka (trumpet); Jakub Horejsi (French horn); Jiri Prusa (trombone); Lubomir Maryska (tuba); Jiri Cerha, Hana Rekova, Zuzana Hanzlova (background vocals).

Recorded at SONO Studios, Prague, Czech Republic between July 26 & September 5, 1999.

Personnel: Miroslav Wanek (vocals, guitar, keyboards, tambourine, percussion); Radek Podvesky (vocals, guitar); Jindra Dolansky (vocals, tenor saxophone); Jan Cejka, Zuzana Hanzlová, Jirí Cerha (vocals); Lád'a Kozderka (trumpet); Jakub Horejsí (French horn); Petr Böhm (drums, percussion).

Recording information: Sono Studios, Prague, Czech Republic (07/26/1999-09/05/1999).

Translators: Miroslav Wanek; Nils Frykdahl.

Uz Jsme Doma's first new studio album since 1995's Pohádki ze Zapotrebí, Usi (Ears) introduced a completely revamped lineup. Of the original formation, only leaders/songwriters Miroslav Wanek and Jindra Dolansky remained. New (younger) members are bassist Jan Cejka, guitarist Radek Podvesky, and drummer Petr Böhm. A host of guest musicians appear throughout, contributing French horn, trumpet, accordion, and trombone. For the first time, the group sought the help of an American to produce the album. Idiot Flesh's Dan Rathbun captured the bandmembers' live energy while allowing them an ample sound for their more symphonic inclinations. Still, Usi is the most American-sounding record Uz Jsme Doma has released. The opener, "Bosí," is more '90s U.S. punk rock than Czech avant punk. Except in the title track (a complex, suite-like composition) and "Pot," the focus is kept mostly on the guitars, with Dolansky's saxophone often buried in the mix. "Strach" and "Kovbojská" provide straightforward highlights. "Reka" is pure Uz Jsme Doma: a frantic rhythm pattern with punk overtones, a delicate Baroque melody in the bridge, and an anthem-like chorus to conclude. Usi lacks a bit of inspiration and excitement, but it is hardly a bad album. Martin Velisek's artwork (depicting a classroom of ears) ranks among his best contributions to the group's imagery. ~ François Couture


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