Czech Republic - Full Moon 46 - 07/16/00
Buty did it again. Following the success of their critically and
commercially acclaimed Drevo
Rastakayakwanna (1997), Kapradí (Fern) brings us
another dose of the characteristic mix of pop rock, and Radek
Pastrnák's sense of humor.
After a brief intro of what sounds like knife sharpening, Buty launches
right into Jedno pivo (One Beer). Over driving Iberian rhythms,
descending triads and castanets, Pastrnák urgently demands: "Good
man, serve me a beer!" This is followed by the single Tata (Daddy),
which is a typical Buty moment full of nostalgic images and sounds that
lead directly to the explosive ELO/Queen-style production number,
Olina. Wow, what an entrance!
Next comes the punning Ohambí (Privates), and the sparse
Jedu do Poruby (I'm Going to Poruba), and it's time for the
bossa-nova Prisel den (The Day Is Here). Towards its end however,
the crooning voice, tinkling piano and the mellow flutes get interrupted
by a sonorous announcer: "It's half past the beginning...station
Kapradí is now presenting the news. Jaroslav Seifert (a Czech
poet) was born in the last century of this era - shortly before the
arrival of plastics. It all happened closely behind the invention of the
wheel and of the telescope." He then concludes softly: "Our
complete, endless universe is being controlled by minute
Snezí (It's Snowing) is a cool jazz/raggae cover of the cut
Divny host from their first release. A Miles Davis muted trumpet
wonders in and out of the slowly chugging rhythm, the organ swells
emphasize the lyrics, studio tricks - such as the huge reverb that
explodes following the first mention of the "odd man" - underline
the key passages:
|Tuzka se dotkla
|Pencil touched the
|co lezí pred divnym
|lying in front of the odd man
|s nikym se
|not talking to anybody.
|Hádám, odkud prichází
guessing where he's coming from
| ze se tolik lisí - a
|that he's so different - and I don't know.
|O cem bude
psát ví jenom on -
|Only he knows what he'll write
|venku huste snezí a tuzka na
|It's snowing heavily and a pencil is
resting on the paper.
|Everybody's going home
|jenom on tu sedí
he's sitting here.
|na co myslí.
|What is he thinking
|Tak mu ríkám at uz
|So I ask him to settle his
|a on ze prej penize nemá
|and he says he has no
|ze se práve vrátil z
|he just returned from space.
|A na dukaz nakreslil -
|And as a proof he draws - the
This whole thing
ends with quotations from Mr. Acker Bilk's "Stranger On The
The next two cuts lead to another brassy, noisy, wall-of-sound hit
Hejcman blues, ending with the repeating chorus "end, end, it
will never end." And indeed, there is one more song, the pensive
ballad Parní stroj. "A steam engine," sighs
Pastrnák tenderly over a murmuring choir. "I see it in the
distance...people standing around, watching...dringing beer and eating hot
dogs. A steam engine run by a dexterous Japanese..."
Kapradí earned Buty the Czech "1999 Group of the Year"
award, and rightly so. Although the band has experienced some personnel
changes, this album is another winner. It's multi-layered, bold and jazzy,
moody and funny - another intriguing outing.
Copyright © 2000 Ivan Sever