Czech Republic - Full Moon 37 - 10/24/99
Na Kovárne, to je nárez
If you happened to understand the lyrics, you'd be immediately struck by the
despair, references to alcohol, death, mental anguish, even by the occasional
racism. At a casual glance, one may also wonder why would Monitor/EMI choose to
re-release this collection which was originally recorded in 1990 at "the chasm
and 'At the Old Branik Smithy' pub." What is it about this band's reved up, ultra-punky attitute and behind their sloppy 'singing'?
In my opinion, it is because a casual listener is likely to miss the solid
musicianship, the quite sophisticated production and occasionally witty verses and
So far, Tri sestry ('The Three Sisters,' which is not only the title of a
play by Anton Chekhov, but also the name of a dormant volcano), has released seven
albums, this being their first. After the opening Ztráta imunity (Loss
of Immunity) about a girl on her way to sell her body to tourists, and Veci divnej
spád maj (Things Turn Out Weird ... life is like a slide/you leave early/and
die unrecognized) comes Divny stavy (... here it is again, that 'Odd Condition'
/that's gonna drive me mad).
Kino Zdar (The Cinema 'Success') starts with footsteps and a squeaking door,
and features the following story:
||For the first time they sit
|v sedmé rade kina Zdar
seventh row of Cinema 'Success' |
|Snad je to tu
intimnejsí ||Maybe it's more intimate
|nez hospoda nebo bar ||
than in a pub or a
|Nechci poznat kino
Zdar ||I don't want to know the Cinema 'Success' |
|bodejz by ho satan
spral ||I wish Satan would take it |
Nechci poznat kino Zdar
want to get to know the 'Success' |
|od toho jdi radci dál
better leave it alone.|
The slower Bába (Old Hag) is about idly hanging out at a pub with nothing
to do. While Kenda is similar, Sovy v mazutu (Owls in 'Mazut') surprises with
a folksy guitar-and-voice ditty about animals in a dying forrest. Zivot je takovej
(That's How Life Is) was the "Sisters" break out single. It mixes a slick lounge opening, a
vaguely Russian-sounding chorus and repeated question: "What kind of an animal am I?"
Sny o lahvich sody (Dreams of Soda Bottles) on the other hand features their "cowboy"
sound which The Ventures made famous in 1961. Budapest closes with
"Our lives are
That's why we're trying to get to Vienna.
After we cut through the barbed wire,
Maybe we will be accepted kindly."
sung to the melody of Yankee Doodle Dandy. Immediately following Metalice (it's
a pun similar to - say - "Metalphor") opens with the rudely interrupted Beatles, and the whole
album ends with some drunken singing...
Now, that's a lot of territory for a punk band. But of course, Tri sestry is not just
another punk band. In spite of such individual self-depreciating nicknames as "Idiot" or "Rag",
the band members are quite successful. They run a complete commercial enterprise, that includes
seemingly haphazard yet carefully produced albums, a well-orchestrated touring schedule, and
even a sophisticated Web site complete with an on-line-shop.
This may not be everybody's cup of tea. But for the adventurous, it may be worth 'czeching'
Copyright © 1999 Ivan Sever