Czekhia was always good in terms of rock but FLAMENGO is far from many hard rock formations born there.
From the Kuře v hodinkách introduction the killer couple of sax and guitar with throbbing rhythm section smells of Schizoid Man – not melodically, it’s just style that turns for Rám příštích obrazů into powerful COLOSSEUM jazz rock while on the choruses voice shoots out pop harmonies. Pauses are rare here, so album as a whole feels a conceptual suite and, at the point of bluesy Jenom láska ví kam where bass swaggers as a pendulum and guitar flies across sax riff, one falls for the drift. Intense aural attack loosens when Já a dým flows on a flute-shaped cloud – TULL rain fell not on deaf ears – and a heart-rending classical guitar lace. But don’t relax – Chvíle chvil draws back into jazz-progressive field though melodic line is quite weak unless organ roars and voice soars high, and where the most biting bit could come in, the music stops.
The reason is to ease the ears with baroque tincture of Pár století which tastes really good. Doky, vlaky, hlad a boty sounds somehow familar and arresting with all the time changes and even a danceable excerpt towards the end – try foxtrot, you may succeed. Guitar and sax interplay impress much. Catchy is Stále dál that could fit BLODWYN PIG as has cutting flute, raspy vocals and jazzy guitar. Approach softens for the title track, a finale of sublime logic and elegance.
Arguably, Kuře v hodinkách is one of the best albums in its genre and has to be exposed much better.
Bonus tracks trace the band’s progress from as early as 1968. FLAMENGO had gone a long way from rhythm-and-blues to their original material: while guitar blues Vím, že pláčem to skončí recorded live in 1970 was of high standards, Summertime they borrowed from THE BIG BROTHER and Janis canon with no stamp of their own applied to Otis Redding’s and James Brown’s material. That did good and the great band emerged to the world.
1. Kuře v hodinkách (Introdukce) / Chicken In The Watch (Introduction) (2:30)
2. Rám příštích obrazů / Frames Of Future Pictures (4:00)
3. Jenom láska ví kam / Only Love Knows Where (2:55)
4. Já a dým / Me And The Smoke (4:55)
5. Chvíle chvil / Moment Of The Moments (4:20)
6. Pár století / Some Centuries (6:30)
7. Doky, vlaky, hlad a boty / Dockyards, Trains, Hunger And Shoes (4:30)
8. Stále dál / Further On (3:15)
9. Kuře v hodinkách / Chicken In The Watch (5:30)
Additional bonus tracks on Wydawnictwo CD re-issue (2000):
10. Každou chvíli [Every Moment](1971 single) (3:58)
11. Týden v Elektrickém městě [A Week In The Electric Town](1971 single) (4:05)
12. Vím, že pláčem to skončí [I Know It Well End With Tears](live 1970) (5:32)
13. Too Much Love Is A Bad Thing (1969 single) (4:21)
14. Summertime (1969 single)(4:00)
15. Get Off My Life Woman (live Prague 1968)(5:50)
16. Say It Loud (live Prague 1968)(3:15)
Jan Kubík – saxophone, flute, clarinet, vocals
Pavel Fořt – guitar, vocals
Ivan Khunt – organ, vocals
Vladimír Guma Kulhánek – bass guitar, vocals
Jaroslav Erno Šedivý – drums
Vladimír Mišík – vocals, guitar
Originally published: DME – LET IT ROCK