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Framus 5 - Mesto Er CD (album) cover

MESTO ER

Framus 5

Eclectic Prog


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Marty McFly
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Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars If you're OK with brass orchestra (which helped them to distinct themselves from other bands at the time) combined with top notch Prog music + some jazzy elements (in form of soft electric guitar and sudden slowing down of pace) elements, you will love this record. I wasn't able to write this review for a long time. Too difficult music to capture its essence in words, but I'll have to try sooner or later. Not it's later.

There basically aren't traces of blues anymore. I'm also not sure to compare it with something known in "western" world, it's unique. As with most of Czech albums (ahem, when they weren't doing covers of otherwise un-accessible songs from UK/US bands). When trying to find flaws here, some non progressive elements, I'm almost unable to do so, as there is not much flaws to find.

This album is divided into side-long epic and then 5 shorter tracks + 2 bonuses. Title track Město ER (City ER) is story of crisis about being lonely in a big, desolate city in some kind of utopian/dystopian society. It's lyrical hell, because it's actually interpretation of poems by respected Czech poet Josef Kainar. Musically, it shows one of the best epics ever coming from Czechoslovakia, full of drum, keyboards, guitar solos, having weird, melancholic atmosphere and it's far from being empty track full of nothing. Don't expect repetition, this is highly original work. Whispered parts of lyrics, shouted ones, haunting keyboards (at times), solid drumming backing, very qualite guitar by Lubo? Andr?ť, even Psychedelic elements to be found here.

The rest of album isn't as good. How could it be in the shadow of this. But they're not dull, even not as good, they are trying to fight for their place on the sun

5(-), almost.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#236434)
Posted Wednesday, September 02, 2009 | Review Permalink
apps79
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Neo Prog Team
3 stars Not very well-known among Prog fans, Framus Five was definitely a legend of rock music within the Czechoslovakian borders.Formed in Praha in 1963, they were led by singer/guitarist Michal Prokop, keyboardist Ivan Trnka and bassist Ladislav Elias (he joined the band in 1967) during their early phase.Originally the band relied much on its reinforced horn section and their 1969 debut ''Blues in soul'' was exactly what its title suggested, an amalgam of Blues, Rock and Soul influences.By 1970 with newcomers guitarist Lubos Andrst and drummer Karel Jahn their style shifted towards more intricate paths.The album ''Mesto ER'', released in 1971 on Supraphon, featured several guest and previous members on drums and bass.

The whole story regarding this album is centered around the impressive attempt on the 19-min. title-track, which sounds a lot like MODRY EFEKT, drawing influences from Classical Music, Jazz, Psychedelic Rock and Soul.A great piece with excellent singing by Prokop and many different instrumental segments with romantic, dramatic and dark tendencies, evolving from orchestral movements to powerful, Soul-inspired horn parts and some sort of psychedelic overtones and containing some great organ washes and piano lines next to some dominant work on trumpets and strings.This piece has aged quite well despite its psychedelic lines, there are even some moments of intense Kraut-like jamming in here and a couple of moments with ethereal flute work, while the connections between the variations is trully convincing with the star of Andrst shining through his unmistakable guitar moves.Beautiful piece of art.The flipside of the original vinyl is not that convincing, it's standard Psychedelic/Jazz/Horn Rock, again Andrst's work on guitar is great with both psychedelic and jazzy inspirations, while Prokop's voice is always expressive and tireless.These numbers contain also Orchestral Pop textures, slight Folk influences and evident Soul and Blues touches, executed in accesible structures with split dynamic and mellow passages.Good tracks, but far from the musical concept of the album's centerpiece.

The band dissolved the same year only to return in 1978 with Prokop as the only original member, releasing four standard Rock albums, until a second demise occured in 1990.In 2000 a third reunion took place and Framus Five continued their career via studio and live performances.

Good document of early-70's East-European Psych/Prog.A great vocalist, a flexible sound and some unmet atmospheres of sheer beauty await every listener of obscure Prog throughout the album's title-cut.Recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#1218828)
Posted Monday, July 21, 2014 | Review Permalink

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