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Hobo - Hobo CD (album) cover

HOBO

Hobo

 

Eclectic Prog

3.54 | 24 ratings

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Seyo
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars HOBO's eponymous debut, the only official release of the band, belongs to the category of "lost Yugoslavian gems" of the 1970s!

A group of ambitious musicians assembled around the leader Mato Dosen in Croatian capital Zagreb sometime in 1972. After appearing at Boom Pop Festival Ljubljana 1974 and as a support to DEEP PURPLE concert 1975, they recorded this album.

- "Druzenje" (A Company) is an opening short instrumental led by electric keyboards in the vein of Keith Emerson.

- "Prijatelju" (The Friend) introduces quite a few novelty instruments for the then Yugo- prog scene, namely electric violin, assorted synths and keyboards and effective percussion (congas). The vocal is sometimes trying to emulate that of the late Davorin Popovic, ex-INDEXI singer.

- "Dijete" (The Child) is a remarkable mini-prog suite with excellent violin solo, strong rhythm section, piano and some additional fine fuzzed guitar effects in the background. Lead vocal is much better here than on the previous track and overall song is perfect. The first comparison that comes to mind is of course CURVED AIR with some jazzy flavour.

- "Sretan kraj" (Happy Ending) starts with piano and adds some more fine wah-wah guitar licks. Vocals are strong while again there is a hint of Davorin-style (I don't know who is responsible for singing among the members here who share vocal responsibilities). The track is done in a jazz-soul style like that of TRAFFIC (compare with "Feelin' Alright").

- "Raskrsce" (Crossroads) brings some synth atmospheric sounds coupled with violin. The vocal is the same as in "Dijete". Very rhythmic groove with harmony vocals ends abruptly.

- "Postajem lud" (I'm Getting Mad) is another highlight with characteristic strange rhythm (almost reggae-like, in a twisted way). Vocals are amazing, duelling between channels, the right one being a somewhat funny but very expressive, almost operatic, falsetto. Very bass and percussion oriented with solo violin.

- "Srebro" (Silver) starts with gentle violin and piano then enter the drums and bass, followed by some electronic noise. Tempo goes faster with violin forefront, with hints of David Cross of KING CRIMSON. Rhythm then slows again, going into slightly psychedelic territory with whispering voices. Moog continues solo briefly, and then the FLOYD-esque organ develops eastern-tinged melody. A wonderful piece of music!

- "Ha-re-ho" is another vocal track with catchy hippie-like "let's everybody sing" chorus, followed by violin solo. It almost had a hit potential, but instrumentally is a minor effort.

- The closer "Cuj me" (Listen To Me) is a piano-led ballad, with additional synthesisers in the background. Nice and easy for the end.

The CD re-issue of the album (legality of the label issue YU POP ARCHIVE 016 YUPR, cannot however be confirmed) contains a bonus track "Zena" (The Woman) which sounds like an outtake from the album. Justifiably so!

You are well advised to search for this album because it represents a very good and artistically inspired attempt to create an innovative prog-rock or art rock record in the former Yugoslavian scene of the 1970s. If you like electric violin, jazzy rhythm section and loads of keyboards, enough said!

PERSONAL RATING: 4,5/5

P.A. RATING: 5/5

Seyo | 5/5 |

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