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HOKROVA VILA

Hokr

Eclectic Prog


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Hokr Hokrova Vila album cover
3.95 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews | 17% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prisel K Nám Kocour/Tomcat (7:03)
2. Pohled Lháre/The Look Of A Liar (2:41)
3. Pletový Mlíko/Skin Lotion (6:13)
4. Mys V Tranzu/Mouse In A Trance (8:15)
5. Voice Of WC (2:43)
6. Kdo Má Vládu Nad Skvrnami/Who Rules Over The Stains (7:14)
7. Smutek Bejvalejch Pannen/Sorrow Of the Deflowered Virgins (6:06)
8. Zamilovanej Vul/A Dumb Ass In Love (2:28)
9. Na Dvore/In The Yard (4:39)
10. Blud C. 64/Fallacy No. 64 (9:17)
11. Karabác/The Whip (3:21)
12. Kobka/The Cell (7:57)

Total Time: 67:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Pavel Cermák / keyboards, vocals
- Petr Cermák / drums
- Vítek Novák-Rosnecký / bass
- Vladimír Liska / vocal, lyrics

Guests:
- Kristina Belohlávková / cello (1,4,7,8)
- Tomás Novák / tenorsax (2,12)
- Tomás Brandejs / tenorsax (5,6,9)
- Miroslav Holan / guitar (12)

Releases information

CD self-released 2004

Thanks to Rivertree for the addition
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HOKR Hokrova Vila ratings distribution


3.95
(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
17%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
50%
Good, but non-essential (17%)
17%
Collectors/fans only (17%)
17%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

HOKR Hokrova Vila reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars Czech underground progressive rock ...

This is music originally composed and developed under difficult circumstances in Czechoslowakia between 1979 and 1985. As also known from other countries of the Eastern bloc the authorities only had an interest in music that matched with their dictatorial beliefs. HOKR had a nonconforming musical style and lyrics - tolerated for a while but not officially legalized and therefore the band was an underground insider's tip. But nevertheless they managed to organize several unofficial live performances in and around Prague at that time. Probably this is the reason why HOKR's music is somewhat dramatic.

Now meanwhile drummer Petr Cermák emigrated to USA and Czechoslowakia later was split in two parts and therefore doesn't exist anymore. In 2002 the band members decided to come together again to produce their former stuff as a remake. 'Hokrova Vila' is the essence of the new recordings and they can be proud of it with reason.

The album is a blend of symphonic, heavy and jazzy rocking parts with several melancholic emotional sections. Noticable of course (especially for non Czech) are Vladimír Liska's unusual native vocals which are often near to a recitative style. And he also delivers a crazy chicken intro for Na Dvore - by all means a special highlight which attracted attention here during the evaluation period of the band. Keyboarder Pavel Cermák uses an Ensoniq synthesizer which often sounds midway between hammond and mellotron and he is predominantly responsible for the dramatic mood.

If someone is missing guitars in the main line-up the band is able to point out several cello contributions as a compensation though - except the last song. Furthermore HOKR includes nice saxophone additions here and there. The album starts with the instrumental Tomcat (sorry for using the english translations) somewhat classic symphonic with cello and undergoing several changes in the course further on. We have a wonderful floating grooving part included inspired by bass player Vítek Novák-Rosnecký.

Mouse in a trance and Sorrow of the deflowered virgins are having a more jazzy/fusion character with several mood changes whereas Skin lotion with a rumbling bass and Voice of WC are heavy rocking songs with Liska's impressive contributions. The zappaesque Who rules over the stains shows a long mellow, gripping begin and Fallacy No. 64 is full of intense hammond similar keyboard parts which explodes at the end. They seem to be the most emotional songs for the band.

Some translations of the lyrics with concealed messages are given on their website and based on the titles I'm quite sure the tracks are referring to their experiences in Czechia. The same for the last song The Cell where Pavel Cermák's keyboard sounds symphonic, near to funfair carousel music.

'Hokrova Vila' offers us a unique sound - a discovery for every prog fan in any case - recommended!

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Understanding the lyrics is obviously the advantage here (being the crazy poetry kind of juxtaposing contrary things together, mundane situations made suddenly weird). Think paranoia about being watched, criticism of current shallow society or just a man who thinks he's a chicken and will live in a henhouse. It works more with suggesting/hinting at concepts rather than directly naming them. Knowing Czech is not mandatory though.

It's OK, as there are many instrumental parts of the songs and also instrumental songs only. Very similar both lyrically and musically to Plastic People of the Underground. Being sometimes jazzy (cacophonic kind), it never lasts too long and there is strong melodic theme thorough the tracks. You can bang your head (slowly) to some of them, the rhythm goes on well.

Other than that, Rivertree said the rest well, better than I could. He gets the history of this band right and the (bad for non-conformist, Prog music) situation in Czechoslovakia back in the day this music was conceived (the height of "normalization in Czechoslovakia" - read about it on wiki, it's well written article and interesting I think). And also good translations of songs (knowing both Czech and English well I can tell that he must understand something about our culture and nation. Well, maybe a little correction, first track is actually "Tomcat has arrived (to us)" and the Cell (as in jail cell of medieval type).

One of the most proggiest Czech albums, go for it fellas!

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