This Polish band has a history going all the way back to the early seventies. Even though I’ve heard of the group, I’ve never actually heard their music. I’m not sure this was the CD to start with. It seems like we have to different recordings here. One a progressive rock album and the other a blues/rock record.
The initial tracks are all very prog-based in an early Genesis/Camel tradition. “Golden Harp” is only slightly marred by singer Josef Skrzek’s heavy accent. Perhaps he should stick to his native Polish as the English songs come off moderately distracting and lyrically weak. The following track, “Music Is My Life” is perhaps my favorite song on the CD. It has a nice delicacy and good guitar work. Despite the title, the lyrics are almost entirely in Polish. The title track is quite good musically, but suffers from having the same words “New Century, New Century” repeated over and over.
The track order is slightly different from what it states on the back of the CD case (and inserting it in the computer doesn’t help, as it lists the songs from their 1998 album Welcome). Track #7 “Duch Pokolen” is actually listed as #5 on the case. This is essentially a Moog solo that is dedicated in the booklet to Mr. Moog. There is some nice guitar work in the Gilmour/Latimer vein on cuts like “Stary Czlowiek W Milczacym Ogrodzie” and “Wojownicy Itaki.” I like “When Was the Last Time” with its spoken monologue over a slow & deliberate musical backing. I’m a sucker for stuff like that ala Flash In the Pan and Will Powers.
The last three songs are all in a blues or rock style. There is “Carry Me Away” which starts out ok, but then pops into a blues guitar solo and then meanders until the end of its almost 16 minute length. It sounds very improvised and would not sound out of place on a live Grateful Dead album. “PAJO” is mostly harmonica over a drum solo and “Rock for Mack” is just what it sounds like, a minute and 44 second rock instrumental dedicated to the famous producer/engineer they procured for this recording.
Overall, I’m glad I heard this record. The standout cuts like the first few and the moments of brilliance in others show me there is more to this group than I’m hearing on this, their 2005 release. I believe that perhaps some of the other recordings by SBB have more merit than this one and it impels me to seek them out.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on December 12th, 2006