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coverpic flag Czech Republic - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 6 - 04/22/97

Zluty Pes
Trsatko
Bonton

Writer/lyricist Ondrej Hejma has led a rock group on and off for about 15 years, before his latest band Zluty pes (Yellow Dog) became an 'overnight' success. Following the megahit Sametova (Velvety) from their self-titled release on Bonton Records, Zluty pes ended up in short order opening for ZZ Top, touring with the Rolling Stones and being named the Czech Band of the Year.

Now Bonton has released their newest - Trsatko (the slang word for 'guitar pick'). Following a dubious start (a pointless 'shoo-bee doo-bah' version of the Czech national anthem), things get better quickly. First comes Trava (Grass), a reggae song about contention and acceptance of imperfection that features the YoYo Band's brass section. And then, the highlight, Juesej (phonetic spelling of 'USA').

Written by the Stones with Hejma's Czecho/American lyrics, this pull-out-all-the-stops romp couldn't express the anticipation, the excitement, and the wonderment of the 'Ju-es-ej' in any better way:

Pop says go, Mom says don't
But I'm just glad it's my turn.
The Paradise of Freedom
Is waitin' round the bend,
So to my home town: bye, bye, bye!
Break the bank, grab the money,
Place it here and stop staring.
Don't hesitate, man, 'cause we're flying
TO THE USA!

Later on, the neo-punk Blbej den (A Stupid Day) leads into Zustan klidna (Stay Calm). Here Hejma expresses his mixed emotions to an unknown girl:

When you feel alone, empty and mad,
Stay calm, stay calm and go to sleep.
I kinda like you...
...You gave me everything I have.
That you're not a beauty queen, I know the best.
So stay calm, stay calm and go to sleep.
I kinda like you...

The free-versing US Open closes the album.

"The devilish organizers of the US OPEN
re-shuffled, re-grouped and re-seeded the GRID OF THE SINGLES
to get the most out of the NUMBER OF TV COMMERCIALS.
The only acceptable finals were SAMPRAS VERSUS AGASSI
but GOD and Michael Chang were AGAINST."

In-between these highlights the listener can catch a glimpse of the Rolling Stones' 'Love in Vain' in Zadny blues (No Blues), while Dire Straits influenced both Cas letni (Time of Summer) and Hrobnikova vdova (The Gravedigger's Widow).

So if you're in a mood for a blues-band that kicks ass, 'czech' out The Yellow Dog's latest.

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