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Smak - Smak CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.45 | 36 ratings

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3 stars A good debut from a heavy rock band that occasionally stepped into fusion, folk and symphonic.

A production leaves lot to be desired. The bass is muffled, the synth barely audible. The album - and band's career - starts with "Perle". Great, quite simple, catchy guitar riff. The bass guitar follows. Great percussion. And then vocals....

Boy, I can't digest those vocals. When I was a newbie to SMAK, I taught that band leader, guitarist Točak is singing. Okay, it's his band, it's his will...but then I realised they actually have a man hired only to use his throat. A man who is not busy very often since many tracks are long, or even instrumental. And when there's a singing, B. Aranđelović sing it badly. I mean, badly. High pitched, but forced vocal, washed out, tiny, stretched like a bubble gum. That was the timbre, the timbre is not the worst part of the vocal. No. It's the pronunciation. Do not worry because of the language barrier - I can't understand the lyrics neither. And I really doubt anyone from the band can. The vast majority of the singers in the seventies had great pronunciation, regardless of genre, where you can here every vowel and every oscillation of the throat. Those vocals were sometimes pathetic, sometimes tacky, sometimes great, but always cipherable. The rather-chew-or-murmur-than-say vocals happened later globally. However, Aranđelović fits into the later category.

When you finally digest the vocals (and the easiest way is not to pay attention to them anyway) you can focus on music which might be sometimes good, sometimes bad, but it's always energetic and sincere. "Perle" is realy toe-tapping", "Mračni mol" and "Biska 2" are full of great melodies and guitar riffs, Točak's trademarks. Check them out. The longest track on side A is "Blues u parku" ("Blues In The Park"), and it's of course, blues, just a little bit less boring than LED ZEPPELIN's "Since I've Been Loving You". Oh wait a actually love that tune? Then you'll love this one was executed equally ballsy. The drums are - why hiding it - identical.

Side B, one track: "Put od Balona". Whatever.

This track is GREAT.

At the moments.

Pity, it's not great all the time. Actually I like it a lot - people are complaining that it's too pretentious, but this was friggin' progressive rock band, and a good one at that. What do we have here: great, ehm, classical melodies on acoustic guitar, great melodies on electric piano, great use of the word "great" in my review; around 3:00 there's something that is most likely two-hand tapping on a guitar. On the acoustic guitar. If that's not true, I don't know what it is. Okay, big deal. After the very symphonic (in a meaning of a rock genre) beginning, the song continues into a heavy/fusion hell, with lots of showmanship - okay. Now we were convinced that both drummer, organist and bassist are all great musicians. Točak proved it on a side A. But who needed it? However, I actually like this kaleidoscope of virtuoso pathetics, at least most of the time. Jazz sections are a killer. It's beefy all the time.

You will like it if you like that kind of pretentiousness (the 70's one). Plus, you have to love both heavy prog and jazz-rock - and then this record will be very appealing to you. Give it a try, it's a good one. That was a debut: ideas all over the place, directions only here and there. Don't be afraid by the vocals; there are not much of them anyway.

Three-and-half rock-solid stars.

clarke2001 | 3/5 |


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