This Czech-based, experimental prog rock group accurately channels the unconventional musical spirits of Frank Zappa and Sun Ra with 2003s Cod Liver Oil. Here rigid musical arrangements are tossed out the window in favor of a whirlwind of herky-jerk rhythms, operatic choruses and deft musicianship. It’s an acquired taste, but it gets better with repeated listens.
The quartet kicks things off with the eccentricity of “Feelings of Fences,” a lively tune with lyrics that explore the thoughts and yearnings of…fences. It showcases the band’s adroitness at keeping a groove while quickly shifting time signatures and musical modes. On that song, as well as on the rest of the album, they enlist a slew of guest vocalists and musicians—including a violinist and a bassoon player—to add to the mélange. Later on, tracks like “Face” and “Hour” subtly hint at their affinity for genres like old-school punk.
The musical juxtapositions on Cod Liver Oil are complex but not overbearing. It might be too much to stomach for some, but those who like a little avant-garde kick to their rock should appreciate this band’s odd approach to an already well-worn genre. (Ira Sather-Olson)
Uz Jsme Doma plays the Badlander Monday, Oct. 29, at 10 PM with Capillary Action and Two Year Touqe. Cover TBA.