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The Tea Party - Transmission CD (album) cover

TRANSMISSION

The Tea Party

 

Crossover Prog

3.24 | 21 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Transmission' - The Tea Party (5/10)

After two excellent albums with 'Splendor Solis' and 'The Edge Of Twilight', The Tea Party had already throughly impressed me. A Canadian hard rock trio which really takes after classic rock bands like The Doors and Led Zeppelin, they would make heavy use of ethnic instrumentation to give their music an added flair. This band has always been set on reinventing themselves however, and with their fourth album 'Transmission', the music shows the band take another new turn. Exchanging much of their organic and exotic sound for a more modern rock-based vibe, 'Transmission' does appear to be an album that caters to a somewhat different audience than before. Although the change is not entirely without its merits and it is impressive to hear a band overhaul their sound so much, The Tea Party does seem to have lost much of their charm in the process.

In what I consider to be The Tea Party's masterpiece, 'Splendor Solis' sported some very vintage sounds, potentially verging on Led Zeppelin worship. Even so, the lack of originality in the band's sound did not prevent them from delivering an incredibly warm musical experience, and this isn't something I am feeling with 'Transmission'. The most notable difference in the sound is actually with the production. Things are of no higher fidelity soundwise here, but instead, the music sounds like it was mixed to sound like an industrial rock band, a la Nine Inch Nails. On top of this, plenty of electronic beats and studio fine- tuning can be heard here, which is not inherently a bad thing, but it does rob The Tea Party of their strongest asset, being their warm, exotic charm.

In terms of the songwriting, things are much more guitar based this time around, and conventional. Although the progressive rock influence can still be heard through mellotrons and the like, each song here is fundamentally pop in nature, focusing more on heavy, anthemic structures rather than complex instrumentation. Jeff Martin's voice is used much more aggressive, often reaching a holler, and this also feels like a misstep on the band's part. However, 'Transmission' keeps many of the songwriting chops intact. Especially towards the lighter elements of the album in such songs as 'Psychopomp', 'Aftermath,' or my favourite track 'Emerald', there is still some strong material to be heard. Although 'Transmission' still has some good material to offer and The Tea Party hasn't completely lost themselves on me here, the album pales and disappoints when compared to their previous two albums.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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