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SBB SBB album cover
3.64 | 99 ratings | 4 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Piwnica (7:00)
2. Niemen (4:36)
3. 74 (5:24)
4. Bunkry Wiedeńskie (3:05)
5. Zwątpienie Lakisa (4:02)
6. Aries (2:31)
7. Urodziny w Roskilde (6:55)
8. Rozstanie (2:22)
9. Ameryka (4:59)
10. Nowy Wiek (6:01)
11. Lot Nad Chicago (2:37)
12. Seged (3:55)
13. Memento (3:50)
14. Muzy (6:46)
15. Zaufani (3:19)
16. Requiem (11:03)

Total time : 78:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Józef Skrzek / vocals, bass, Hammond, synths (MicroMoog, MiniMoog, Fatar, Nord Lead, Kurzweil)
- Apostolis Anthimos / guitar, drums, Nord Lead synth

Releases information

CD Metal Mind Productions - MMP CD 0703 DG (2012, Poland)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SBB SBB ratings distribution

(99 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

SBB SBB reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars The return of the Silesian Blues Band

Now officially a duo consisting of Józef Skrzek (keyboards and vocals) and Apostolis "Lakis" Anthimos (guitars), SBB return with a brand new album for 2012. The pair are portrayed on the front cover in an highly effective shot by Tomasz Konior. Surprisingly perhaps, the band have not previously released a self titled album, so things are kept simple this time around. Skyzek decribes the new album as ""A new album, new sound - fresh, mature yet spontaneous and full of youthful energy". With a running time of just short of the maximum (CD) length of 80 minutes, this is indeed an album not to be rushed. While the only truly long piece is the 11 minute closer, and each track stands alone as separate number, there is a fluency to the album with each track moving nicely into the next.

As with most SBB offerings, the music sits somewhere between rock and fusion, each album shifting the balance one way or another. In this case I reckon rock has slightly the greater edge, but both styles feature strongly.

The mood of the album is set by the opening "Piwnica", a relaxed blend of vocalising, drifting synths and floating guitars. The ambience is deceptive though, with dominant percussion (played by Lakis!) driving the piece ever louder. "Niemen" and "74" make for a good sister tracks to the opener, the former picking up the pace slightly while offering a retro synth sound similar to that of ELP's glory days. The latter slows things down again with further vocal sounds.

The rock side really bursts forth on the relatively brief "Bunkry Wiedeńskie", an up-tempo guitar and synth jam. "Zwątpienie Lakisa" has the feel of an interlude piece, the sparse melodic percussion and ambient drones leading to the shortest track on the album, "Aries". This light, pleasant little piece features lilting synth and piano.

There is a bit of a Pink Floyd/Roger Waters feel to "Urodziny w Roskilde", one of the album's longer tracks. The unhurried setting and the call to prayer type chant are complemented by some fine synth and guitar. "Rozstanie" and "Ameryka" are paired to allows Anthimos space to display his prowess on lead guitar. "Nowy Wiek" opens softly, the Floydian influence once again being apparent, in some ways the track has the feel of a collage of "Time" and"Great gig in the sky".

Things are jazzed up slightly for the brief "Lot nad Chicago" before settling down again for the soft synth and piano of "Seged". "Memento" and "Muzy" see the return of more intrusive drumming, providing a backdrop to an extended lead guitar solos, the latter also featuring further vocalising. "Zaufani" is a light, partly acoustic number which sets the scene for the closing 11 minutes of "Requiem", a looser, more ambient piece with dark overtones and intermittent guitar and synth intrusions.

In all, while each of the 16 tracks here stand successfully as an individual piece, this album cries out to be heard as a complete collection. Only by becoming totally immersed in the flowing continuity of this superbly crafted music can one really appreciate the collective whole which is "SBB".

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Polish act SBB has been around in one form or another for 40 years or thereabout at this stage, and even if they've had their pauses along the way this is still an impressively long career for a band. They have an extensive back catalogue at this point, with about 50 more or less official releases in various formats. "SBB" is the most recent of these, the studio album released by Metal Mind in the spring of 2012.

Gentle, dampened details and carefully explored themes with partially contrasting expressions are the dominating traits of this self-titled production by Polish veterans SBB. A few pacier, energetic excursions showcase a band that still can produce the unexpected and more adventurous breed of music if they feel like it, but at least at this stage it would appear that exploring careful nuances is more at the heart of the band's current inclinations. A well made piece of art rock to be enjoyed by existing fans and those who prefer their art rock to be of a dampened, refined nature.

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
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.

Latest members reviews

3 stars This album represents a challenge for me. There is nothing really wrong with what's on offer here, except - in comparison with the band's earlier works, I find it rather boring. To the point that if I took a "blindfold test", I would have stopped the CD half-way through - if not before. Bu ... (read more)

Report this review (#977461) | Posted by BORA | Thursday, June 13, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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