Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Trobecove Krušne Peći-S Mukom Žvaču Trubadurov Vrat LP (Doomtown, 2014)

You have to love a band that includes aquarium ambience on the first track. From what I understand, Zagreb's  Trobecove Krušne Peći (TKP) were a seminal part of the former Yugoslavia's underground scene in the early '80s. They never released a full record, so Doomtown has collected their recorded output for a latter-day artifact from the days of samizdat culture. 

This is taut, hop-along-jerk-along postpunk akin to [insert here the names of all the bands you're waiting for me to reference]. Like a lot of the European post-punk of the period, it sounds like dub with all the rhythm flattened out and compressed into a tin box: what comes through is the anxiety and brooding, with none of the expansiveness. That's not a criticism-most of the best post-punk worked in that manner. "Zvijezda" is, for my money, the best song here: it stutters along in an offkilter, stumblebum way, with bass and scratchy guitar notes merging with what sounds like seagull noises. "Boje Noć U Krv" could be a Brainbombs tune, stripped of the squalling dissonance-it's built around a lone horn twiling away as the singer intones about, well, something. In a bark that reminds me of the Brainbombs' singer. 

My guess is that one misses a lot by not understanding Croat (I don't), but the music is top-notch, neurotic Iron Curtain punk from the dying days of Tito's "Real Existing Socialism." You keep waiting for the explosion, and it never comes-history would take care of that a little later, of course. 

You can check out TKP here.  Doomtown has released this on a double LP with a fancy insert detailing the history of the band. If you're a geek for all things '80s and all things post-punk, as I am, you should probably get your ass over to Doomtown's site and BUY IT IF YOU LIKE IT!



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