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SBB - SBB [Aka: Amiga Album] CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.24 | 83 ratings

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3 stars For some reason most of the songs on this album are named in German. I must admit I haven't found out why this is. It's basically an album that could well be placed in a genre called funk-prog. At times it very jazz rock, but then there are passages that are pretty straightforward funk.

The first song, Tanzbar (Dance bar) is a nice and calm funk tune, not very special, but very groovy. this is the whole image of the album, short groovy songs, great for example for getting high or to be listened to while drunk. Not that I would support such a behaviour. The song has some singing, but less lyrics, the voice acts as an instrument here. The song is nice.

Magische Blaue Stunde (the magical blue hours) is probably meant to tell a story. This one is a bit less funky, and more moody, slower and even psychedelic. This song is a straight instrumental as are most of the songs on this album. It's pretty much guitar driven with a nice melody. One of my favourites.

Hektik (hectic) is pretty much what the name of the song indicates. It's really powerful and fast, probably pretty hard to play. There's a bit less of the funk as the keyboards seem to dominate much more than the guitar. The drumming sounds like in frenzy which has always been one of SBBs best sides. There's a catchy melody which is easy for everyone to jam to.

The latter applies to the next song as well. The song is a bit more funky, though somewhat carneval like, happy and groovy. It's basically a jam song, and more guitar driven again. 2:10 is named after how long it lasts, I suppose, though my tags show it's only 2:07...

Ouzo is very similar to the earlier one in the sense, that it's pretty fast and catchy. The main riff is however again with the guitar, and this is a lot more jazz-rock than funk. The drums keep the funk-jazz feeling throughout the album and the songs are built up around it with guitar and the keyboard taking turns in dominating. This one has a funky part too, kind of a battle between the two main instruments.

Unterbrochene Erotik (interrupted erotics)... The songs on this album are really not that different from each other. This one however is refreshing in a way. The song starts like the others before it, but there's also singing. A question arises: why so little singing? The singer's not the best there is, and the song is again funk jamming where the vocals go along the guitar in the same melody. This is not an album where they'd put so much attention to singing. The singing here is just for the vocalist to feel the mood too. Basically the rest is just jamming.

But jamming is what they do well. Of course most of the album is composed, and there's little room for improvisation within the 3-4 minutes each song lasts, which is a shame. The guys play so well it'd be nice to hear if they improvise as well too. Kala, the next track, starts off soft and sounds like there's going to be a calm, ballad kind of a song, but it soon gets started. The bass-organ-guitar patterns make it sound like Wigwam at times on this song and the others too, which is a good thing in my book. There's some really good jazz-rock hooks for the listener. After all, this is not as 'hektik' as most of the songs, the verses are really laid back.

The album is a collection of groovy funk tunes, great for people who find that kind of music good. Composition-wise it's not mind breaking, but a solid jamming session where the guys really show what they do best. Tumba is a very repetitive song with one riff and basically something between scat and singing on the background. The song sounds a lot shorter than what it is, which is a good thing. It might get a bit boring after a while just listening to the same pattern over and over again. This is obviously something that brings the fun back to the serious jam session. The song is very cheerful and I can imagine them having a lot of fun playing the song for the first 5 times. Still, if one has to look for a weakest link on an album, this would be it here, though only composition-wise.

A couple of words to describe this album: easy-going, laid-back, creative, skillful. It's definately not as serious as some of their albums seem to be. Perhaps they just needed to take a break and go easy one it. Mutraczka is a guitar driven funk-rock song. The guitar that plays the lead is pretty tight and rock. The song is a lot slower and less intense than the rest, it's more a like a song made for the guitarist. Just like the one before, it fades out, there's no ending.

When the one before was for the guitarist and the one before that was for the singer, the next song, Nr. 7 is obviously for the keyboardist. There's hardly any guitar, and the drums just beat in the background. It's a bit dreamy and less rock than the ones before. There's a foggy and dreamy feeling to this one. Apparently each player wants to try out their skills, and so far, none have failed.

the last song, I Wonder Why is of the disco generation. It sounds a bit like Bee Gees on the style aspect. Lot of wah in the guitars and though not as high, still sung through. I could imagine people dancing to this very song at discos in 70s. It's really not that prog, just an easy disco nation tune, perhaps not for radioplay but for retro-nights at the local club.

My version of the album doesn't have the extras, which is kinda shame. However, the album sounds pretty full as it is here. I'd love to give this one 4 stars, but I'm not going to , and here's why: I'm one of those who really like to listen to great musicians jamming, that's why I listen to a lot of jazz and live albums. And this album is a great choise for people like me, and excellent addition even. But to those, who look for the prog side of them, mostly composed, clean and big, are not going to find it here. For them I'll recommend Slovenian Girls(1978) from these guys first. The album however deserves a whole 3 stars, and please note, it's not bad, in fact, it's pretty great.

Passionist | 3/5 |


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