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Speed Dial | Kecam | review | indie | alternative | rock | Lollipop

Speed Dial

Keca'm (Mother West)
by Jamie Kiffel

Remember how you felt the first time you heard Queensrÿche's "Silent Lucidity"? Speed Dial draws on that same self-examining power with open-voiced choruses and strong, bassy rhythms that stir up the soul waters.

Czech-born singer Peter Sabla has a fascinating, almost Native American-sounding accent with hard r's and unexpected twists on the vowels that make thoughtful lines sound downright prophetic. Sabla flexes his mastery of falsetto, making it sound like a natural expansion rather than a gimmicky Axl Rose stretch.

On coming to terms with life and adulthood, Sabla sings, "I would do anything, if I could make my own rules/One last wish to manifest my will/But that's just it, there will never be enough." Yet just as he sees the limits on his life (and who could see those limits more clearly than a child of Communist rule?), he recognizes the potential power we all have to make our lives what we want, in "Fortunate": "You may have to pull your sleeves up... and you may have to dry your eyes... But you don't have to go too far, you don't have to go at all -- It's all here." It's refreshing to hear a rock singer celebrate the opportunities he's discovered rather than shout aimlessly at closed doors.

Sabla's music could be called "philosophical rock," as he's using carefully crafted songs to explore reality and the self rather than a lot of noise to blindly criticize it. Instead of penning slow, muddy music about feeling sluggish and confused, Sabla has worked out strong, catchy anthems to inspire his audience.

It isn't surprising to hear a thinking man's music coming from a country that was recently held tightly under the thumb of Communist rule. Sabla seems to be thrilled at the opportunity to create multi-leveled rock music -- at times, even top 40 material -- and his respect for the chance to do it shows in the high listenability and thoughtworthy quality of this disc. Enjoy the polished work of a band that appreciates its studio time.


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