Stefan Saffer Band - German Babylon (CD)
TZ2176Regular price $16.65
At the beginning there were two questions from the musician: How can I combine the energy and punk spirit of my youth with 30 years of songwriting experience and how can I use my anger about so many questionable developments in Germany creatively and put it into an audible form?
Three years after his last release, 'New Day', the answer is now available: And it's called “German Babylon”, an angry, white-hot, pushing forward album that literally jumps at you. The Leipzig trio around the charismatic singer/songwriter/guitarist Stefan Saffer has further perfected its typical, very own sound, focusing it and condensing it into 10 brand new song bombs.
That means: hard, very hard indie guitar rock that has one foot firmly planted in punk dirt while the other is allowed to dance to pop-soaked melodies. In this field of tension move on the new album brisk mid-tempo hits like the opener "Two fires", the first release "No justice no peace", the super melodic "Kid with the dirty face" or the groovy "Union Day". Fortunately, there are also outliers in various related genres: "Hatebook" and "This ball's on fire" swing the speed and hardcore club powerfully, while the title track "German Babylon" stomps along powerfully hard rock and the really amazing "Ashland" evokes pleasant memories of 80's New Wave (esp. The Police) before the track explodes in a guitar feedback orgy. And of course the obligatory SSB instrumental shouldn't be missing on this album either. This time in the form of "Mimimi", a nice showcase for the interplay of the three instruments and the band's offbeat humor.
Although Stefan Saffer rejects the term "concept album", all 10 songs from "German
Babylon” closely related in terms of content. He wrote most of it in autumn 2020, a time when the mood in the country, on the streets and especially on the internet was very heated and aggressive. And so the tracks reflect his view of the topics that probably get us all emotionally excited in these times. It's about racism, hate and hate speech on the Internet, the divisions in our society, conspiracy paranoia, the vulnerability and transience of our existence and the question of who actually has the sovereignty of opinion and interpretation in the country in these times.
Not easy stuff, but it was wonderfully integrated through the great compositions and perfectly poured into 10 varied songs that really go off and quickly dig into your ear canals. An album for the brain and gut, so to speak, an album from a single source, just like good, hard and authentic rock music with attitude should be.
Alongside long-time SSB drummer Koma Kschentz, Stefan Saffer was into “German
Babylon” (due to a break from regular bassist Tom Löwe) fortunately with the Berlin indie rock veteran Rudi Freese on four-string: a more than equal replacement available. Freese, who may still be known to many from his time as leader of the legendary 80s indie band "The Strangemen" and as tour guitarist for the late ex-Hüsker Dü drummer Grant Hart, has seamlessly blended into the album with his uncompromisingly rocking bass playing and latched perfectly into the SSB sound with a lot of force.
"German Babylon" was recorded from October 2020 to April 2021 in the band's own studio in Leipzig, mixed and mastered at "DieWerkstattLE", the album was produced by Stefan Saffer.
01 Two Fires
02 No Justice No Peace
05 Kid With The Dirty Face
06 No One Here Gets Out Alive
07 German Babylon
08 Union Day
09 This Ball's On Fire