Mike McLatchey 20-April-2001 Veci

Combo FH are a Czechoslovakian group playing decidedly RIO-influenced music. The album Veci consists of 14 short pieces of composed music, much of which sounds like updated Henry Cow, with a lot of winds backed up by a rock rhythm section. The complex ensemble work, as in Tipographica for example, occasionally opens up a vamp for a jam to let the group open up a bit, but, alas, this happens too infrequently. Mostly, this is highly structured work created by an extended ensemble, the lead melodies often led by combinations of sax, clarinets, bassoons etc. Many of these parts are heavily reminiscent of Legend-period Henry Cow or similarly avant-inclined chamber rock. But despite their penchant for complex and layered orchestration, Combo FH usually stay away from disonnance keeping the music to close to a distinctly melodic framework. The overall impression is an album of "shorts," compositions that are tight, structured and mostly interesting without any pyrotechnic displays or dynamic extremes.

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