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EBB: The Management Of Consequences

Scotland isn’t exactly known for its prog scene so it’s always a great pleasure to stumble across a rather tasty sounding outfit from my homeland. What adds to that pleasant surprise is that this sextet is made up of five women and one man, and while in this day and age that shouldn’t be ‘news’, it is worth mentioning just how unusual that is, especially within this genre.

This 3 track EP, The Management Of Consequences, is my first encounter with EBB but according to the band themselves it is in some ways, ‘a companion piece to their album Mad & Killing Time, in that it deals with and resolves many of the issues raised in that album. If Mad & Killing Time was a comment on the human condition, The Management of Consequences is a more personal examination of the same’, before going on to add, ‘the EP is dedicated to Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy which is referenced to throughout the work. The gist being that the human condition and indeed any condition, all find terminal irrelevance on a cosmic scale.’

Musically the band are equally ambitious, these three tracks broad in scope and excellent in execution, with singer Erin Bennett as expressive as you could wish for. The talented front-woman is also the band’s guitarist, but this is undoubtedly a group effort where the results are all the better for this outfit’s strengths right across the board. Floydian in nature but never quite so languid, “Silent Saviour” gets things underway, this three part piece taking on all manner of emotions and ideas before ending in what feels like some sort of ceilidh. With spacey sections and a psychedelic swirl in the track’s mid-section, there’s something here for everyone - including some great keyboard work from Suna Dasi - which when you consider it’s only eight and a half minutes long, is quite impressive. “Cost & Consequence” continues on in moody pace, although here some of the vocals - as is in keeping with the concept no doubt - are a little more ‘out there’ and while they remain impressive, for me personally, some of those more exuberant moments become a little grating after repeat listens, but the track itself is something of a melancholic masterpiece that flows quite beautifully.

“Nieu” closes things out, hammond organ, courtesy of Nikki Francis, pumping in atmospheric goodness, but again, some of the vocals are intentionally off kilter and while these moments illustrate Bennett’s storytelling ability, I’d rather hear her rather stunning clean vocals throughout. Otherwise we’re dealing with another consummate example of sprawling but crafted progressive rock that swirls and swoops through the senses with a deft touch, but also a real sense of purpose.

There’s no doubt this is impressive stuff that marks EBB out as an act to watch. The musical skills on show really are captivating, and crucially, the songwriting is tight and engaging, while still be able to challenge in all the right places. Where they go from here should be very interesting to follow indeed.

Track Listing
1. Silent Saviour
2. Cost & Consequence
3. Nieu

Added: December 20th 2023
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: EBB online
Hits: 468
Language: english

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