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SBB - SBB CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.63 | 93 ratings

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3 stars While mixing diverse styles together during several decades meanwhile they are known for an eclectic interpretation of what prog music should sound like. Shrinked to the core Józef Skrzek and Apostolis Anthimos in 2012 they appear with a new album, simply entitled 'SBB' - as if they are intending to offer a personal retrospective ... and/or even want to start a new attempt, probably manifested by the cover picture. At any rate it demonstrates that drummer Gabor Nemeth is missing now and here, Anthimos himself takes on his task, doing quite well by the way.

As for the music as such they principally remain faithful to their approach - the 16 songs seamlessly blend into each other, mostly represent fusion/jazz rock stuff, although alternating with some meditative ambient/spaced out blockbusters. Sparkling rhodes piano, melancholic synths and Skrzek's clear voice open for Piwnica - so their SBB tour will start in a cellar. A tune which wonderfully meanders through time and space - on top of that the relaxed drumming and a spacey guitar - this altogether serves a nice ambient kick-off.

The following song couple Niemen and 74 is dedicated to Czeslaw Niemen obviously who unfortunately passed away in 2004. Both collaborated with him in the 1970s on four albums until 1974, when SBB was formed. The drumming turns straighter into a fusion rock direction featuring dramatic organ. Meditative parts are to detect like on Nowy Wiek or Urodziny w Roskilde - certainly referencing the Roskilde festivals where they've played in the 1970s. And then they celebrate the blues on Ameryka and Lot nad Chicago.

Finally the atmospheric Requiem resembles some spacey attitude again, an extraordinary exemplar - melancholy pure. Mass for the dead - an indication of the band's quit? Or simply for a cut in order to open up their horizons? Who knows. The song titles are pointing to something retrospective at least. I can't get rid of the impression that this album is the result of a special introverted passion, like recorded for themselves predominantly. Showcasing 16 songs in total this is a nice album overall, professionally worked out for sure. Something so-so anyhow - some tunes are able to knock my socks off, others seem to be rather unsubstantial though music-wise.

Rivertree | 3/5 |


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