Summer Breeze Project (SBP) is a Dutch band which started making music in 2008. After the release of their mini album Energy (2009), their first fully- fledged album Unusual Horizons (2011, see review), the release of their tribute single Hollow (2012) and their contribution to the Dutch Exposure Project (2012, see review), the band was ready to take the step towards the next level in their career.
They did so by writing the first chapter of a triptych called CONTACT. Contact Part One was released just recently. The following chapter, Contact Part Two, is scheduled for release later in 2014, and the final chapter, Contact Part Three is planned to be released in 2015.
Contact Part One was recorded and mixed by SBP in their own OINK-studios and on their own label Oink Records. This new release contains only three new songs. All the songs together clock up almost twenty minutes of music and that may be a bit short for a band that didn't release a full album since 2011, therefore I'd rather have seen the three chapters on one single album. Well they chose to do it differently. I guess in this way we have something to look out for!
The mood on the entire mini CD is rather laidback and mellow. The first track, Signs, starts with a spoken message about close encounters, followed by a drum-pattern from a drum machine. After the atmospheric keyboard parts played by Fons Panneman and a clever bass line performed by Jørgen de Jonge, Gert Bruins'voice starts singing his first vocal lines, soon followed by the first instrumental notes, played by guitarist Gordon van Pelt. Nice piano parts bring the song to calmer waters before the rhythm box appears again and the first composition to a close. The next piece, Pareidolia, starts rather mellow again, but continues in a higher gear. It seems as though drummer Rene Troostheiden hits for the first time his real drum kit here. Together with the electric guitars, he gives the band a more aggressive rock sound. The final composition, Garden Of Delight, starts with a Morse Code message in which somebody asks for help. It moves on to a beat that reminded me of Vienna by Ultravox and then develops into the best track of the entire disc, something I already noticed as they ended the performance of their Signs stage show in Maarssen (see review) with the same composition a year ago. A kind of synthesizer solo appears on the horizon, but fades away too soon before the song really explodes into something beautiful. Maybe it will continue on the second part of Contact! Mainly thanks to the more up-front keyboard parts this is their most progressive rock sounding tune; too bad the song ends too soon.
Giving a verdict about this much too short a disc is something that wasn't easy, because before you know it the music has stopped and leaves you behind with a feeling something really beautiful was about to start and came much too late. Comparing the music of SBP to other bands was even more difficult; not easy at all. On their former releases I compared them with bands like Pink Floyd and Riverside, so maybe I should mention those names as well, only this time the more mellow side of those bands are coming to the surface on this release. Anyway, the band moves in more laidback territories this time around and does this rather well, therefore a positive verdict is in place. I'm already looking forward to the upcoming releases of the Contact triptych.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Esther Ladiges)
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