It's always a pleasure to listen to a new album of the Polish band SBB. This legendary progressive rock-jazz band never leaves much time between two albums. Blue Trance (2010, see review), their latest one included many musical styles. It once again proved that SBB can just as easily switch from blues and jazz to rock and progressive rock. Now two years later these veterans of the progressive music scene released a brand new studio album simply called SBB.
The album title refers to the band's history and their current life. Each song has a relation with important events and situations in the history of the band, but also to people who played an important role during SBB's existence. Over the years SBB was led by the phenomenal composer and multi-instrumentalist Józef Skrzek (keyboards, harmonica, bass, vocals) and the excellent guitarist Apostolis Anthimos. The latter also played the drums for the recordings of this album since no drummer is credited. Moreover, he and Józef Skrzek are the only persons pictured on the album cover, while inside the booklet Anthimos has been shot with a pair of drum sticks.
The new album contains sixteen tracks having again the above-mentioned musical influences. However, compared to their previous album I heard some differences. The songs that were recorded in studio Wojkowice (Upper Silesia) had a much more relaxed and mellower approach. This time the album hardly contains any up-tempo pieces except for tracks as Bunkry Wiedeńskie and Niemen. Fortunately the many superb synthesizer solos throughout the album remained. Once more Józef Skrzek proved to be one of the few musicians, who haven't got any problems to come up again and again with fresh sounding instrumental parts. The same could be said about Apostolis Anthimos. You can enjoy his excellent melodic guitar solos many times on SBB. My only negative remark is the way Mr. Skrzek sings his Polish lyrics. I already mentioned that in my review of Blue Trance. However, I'm afraid he won't sound any better if he would sing them in the English language. Despite this minor detail, they succeeded in recording a fine sounding album with beautiful cover artwork created by the well-known Polish architect Tomasz Konior.
SBB is recommended to people who like the music of this Polish band. Maybe this time the album contains less up-tempo pieces, but that's not a problem at all since it suits the band perfectly. I guess their fans will go along with this type of music.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
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