Mike McLatchey 16-September-2002 Gattch

Gattch is one of Czechoslovakia's earliest rock groups, and certainly a product of the filtration of late 60s US and British rock music into Eastern Europe. In their music I can hear a history of rock music with hints of Procol Harum, the Pretty Things, the Nice, Traffic, Blind Faith and many others being informing influences. Like many bands described in hindsight as proto-prog, Gattch display a music in progress, with the bluesy, guitar-led rocking of the psychedelic era and the incorporation of keyboards and more complex arrangements of the just burgeoning prog rock era thrown together in juxtaposition. Like most groups described as proto-prog, Gattch have not quite left the era of fuzz guitars, Sgt Peppers-dominated pop music and frequent vocal harmonies, and while most groups had far left these influences in the past, Gattch had clearly not worked past theirs and unfortunately would never do so. I suppose in some ways this could be considered the rarer and younger cousin of The Blue Effect, whose Kingdom of Life was likely a precursor of sorts. Like Italy before 1972 and Spain until 1975, the full assimilation of outside influences to where progression could be instigated had not quite happened yet in the country and thus Gattch seems to be more of the child of the 60s than having any particular relevance when it was released, which means that this is much more likely to appeal to the collector of psych and early rock music than to that of prog rock. The psychedelically effected vocals and slight classical influences bear the stamp of the Nice's Emerlist Davjack at a time when Keith Emerson was working on Tarkus. Czechoslovakia's music scene in 1971 surely was a bit behind in terms of international evolution and Gattch is a good example of this. However, it's not a bad album all things considered.

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