Published on 29/03/2022 11:00 am

This week we are revisiting a band we already featured on this here show. But since that was in the before times, when Balkan Express did not have its own space on our glorious website, whatever was said is now lost in the mists of dissipating radio frequencies. Which why it is good and just that we again talk about S.A.R.S.

So let’s address the elephant in the room right of the, well, bat, as it were. S.A.R.S. were formed at the tail end of the first SARS epidemic. And while the world learned precisely nothing from the first  pandemic, at least there were eight musicians from Serbia who took the opportunity to found one of the most popular and groundbreaking bands in the Balkans in the last decade and a half. Of course they named it S.A.R.S.

Now, S.A.R.S. in this case does not stand for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Rather, it’s short for Sveže Amputirana Ruka Satrianija or Satriany’s Freshly Amputated Arm. Combining pop, rock, blues, jazz reggae, hiphop and folk, the band became one of the leading acts of the New Serbian Scene of the late naughts and early tens.

The band was formed in 2006 by Aleksandar Luković – Luka” and Dragan Kovačević – Žabac. Joining them were with six other friends. Very soon, however, they hit the brick wall of compulsory army service, the need for regular and disciplined band practices and, well, adulting. In other words, things that stopped many promising bands early in the game. However, it just so happened that just before they broke up, the band released what turned out to become their greatest hit by far.

After Buđev Lebac unexpectedly made them an instant sensation, SARS decided to strike the iron while it was hot. They quickly reformed and released their first album which went on to become a huge success as well. But sudden stardom, media attention and everything that came along with it proved too much for a band which took pride in its underground roots. A radical reshaping of the band followed, with many original band members departing, and the band taking off in a more mainstream commercial pop direction.

To date, SARS have released seven studio albums. Their last one is titled Glava /Head and released in 2019. In between then and now, they’ve also managed to release a couple of singles. Hopefully, this foreshadows an upcoming eight album by SARS.

Check out S.A.R.S. on Youtube,Spotify, and wherever you get your music from. Balkan Express will be back next week.

Balkan Express takes weekly trips into contemporary musical production of, you guessed it, the Balkans. Forget gusle and tamburice, this show is about rock, pop and a sense of humour. Well, at least there’s guitars. On air most Tuesdays in a new-and-improved time-slot at 1100 hrs. Usually. Your train conductor is Aljaž (aka @pengovsky) who once did the world a solid and decided never to sing again in public. Which is why he ended up doing radio

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With : Aljaž Every Tuesday at 10.00

Balkan Express takes weekly trips into contemporary musical production of the Balkans.

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S.A.R.S. (Balkan Express 079)