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The Tea Club

Crossover Prog


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The Tea Club Quickly Quickly Quickly album cover
4.15 | 178 ratings | 14 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Firebears (17:52)
2. The Eternal German Infant (8:17)
3. Mister Freeze (6:47)
4. I Shall Consume Everything (9:25)

Total Time 42:35


Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

-Patrick McGowan / vocals, guitar
-Dan McGowan / guitar, vocals
-Joe Rizzolo / drums
-Becky Osenenko / keyboards
-Charles Batdorf / bass


Releases information

CD: Self-released, Nov. 2012

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THE TEA CLUB Quickly Quickly Quickly ratings distribution


4.15
(178 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
32%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
34%
Good, but non-essential (23%)
23%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

THE TEA CLUB Quickly Quickly Quickly reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars QQQ - Good things come in threes

Back in 2003 Dan McGowan awoke from a strange dream. As he would often do after dreaming he grabbed his notebook and jotted down the contents of said dream before falling back asleep. When he awoke he found a drawing of a curious caterpillar-like creature gracing his page, with the letters "qqq" above it, perhaps his name, perhaps something more obscure. Ten years later brother Pat McGowan and his friend Shaun were throwing around album titles for the new Tea Club release when "Quickly Quickly Quickly" was pulled from a book Shaun was reading. Dan was not sold at first until the name was abbreviated by Pat in a text message and the "qqq" creature emerged from the recesses of his mind. Being a fan of coincidence he also noted some "three" themes emerging: QQQ, their third album, three members departing and three remaining. And so it was meant to be.

The Teas have been through some turbulence since the 2010 release of their breakthrough second album "Rabbit." Kyle Minnick's departure was followed by some band building which added three members to the fold, bringing them to a fleshed out group of six talented musicians. They played ProgDay and later on proudly shared a stage with modern prog bigshots Beardfish. They worked intensely on a new collection of material which would showcase the band's new muscle and recorded again with the sage of Big Blue Meanie Studios, Tim Gilles. About a year ago guitarist Jim Berger had quit the band. Then in early August keyboardist Becky Osenenko left the band and in late September bassist Charles Batdorf followed, leaving the Tea Club at three. With QQQ hitting the streets in November 2012 the push is on to find some new blood. Do not worry that these departures will stop the music as Dan, Pat, and Joe remain committed to following the sparkle of the moon's eye.

The new album picks up where "Rabbit" left off and but finds the band pushing further into longer, slightly more complex tracks. Four long pieces grace this new album including their first epic to approach the 20 minute mark. "Firebears" enters like intruders busting down your door, a roar of sounds, glorious heady maelstrom. Drummer Joe Rizzolo leads the charge with insane bashing as the keys and guitars are fused in a "Relayer" level of intensity--the jamming is just triumphant! When the intro rolls into the verse Pat sings "Someone left the door unlocked, now all the wolves are getting in" and the warning is punctuated with these four punches-reminds me of how Densmore used to talk about punctuating Morrison's lines. After the intense first section the track drops into this quiet, spacious middle interlude that has a dreamy feel. It's one of the loveliest sections of the album as Pat delivers a very intimate vocal over Becky's extended piano section, a lovely melody with a sad feel to it. In one part it gets very quiet and it's friggin amazing, just a stark emotional vocal against the most beautiful piano and some light guitar color. The music works well with the colorful lyrical themes touching on conformity and growing up, among other things, perhaps becoming a modern 18 minute lyrical soulmate to Jefferson Airplane's "Lather." The final third sees the return of the heaviness and energy along with a reassuring vocal melody, it's just effortlessly enjoyable. I completely disagree with one of the blog reviews on Firebears which found the track unfocused and generally lacking compared to the rest. On the contrary it is the strongest track here and one of their richest songs, anchoring this album in thrilling adventure. It is well assembled with so many enjoyable components to take in. It's music that really makes me feel.

"The Eternal German Infant" begins with some tangy guitar and whimsical sounding lyrics about Chocolate Wolf and Pepper Witch. Dan's vocal here is as cool as Pat's in Firebears, very rich and exposed. Apart and together in harmonies the vocals are one of the attributes that elevates The Tea Club above so many bands. Likewise their interweaving free-willed guitar playing returns, this time slightly less to the fore as the keyboards on QQQ are now a complete part of the sound. There is a great balance between guitars and keys, while the rhythm section is more elaborate. "Mr. Freeze" is a truly creepy track that reminded me the character-driven dark stories of Spiral, my other favorite US band of the moment (The USA is often overlooked by the prog snobs but has so much rich music). With slow, spidery guitar lines and a character vocal that sounds like Peter Gabriel deep in costumed recitation it is wonderful fun. There is a cool 2-minute interlude with moody acoustic, electric effects, and bass. The closer "I Shall Consume Everything" features some stellar, swift guitar picking and music that builds to ferocious intensity before Dan unloads the tension with "I knew you were gonna pull this!" (I just love that part and am already singing along, scary as that fact is!) The vocals of QQQ transition so effortlessly between the intense and the serene, with plenty of attention to the arrangements. I joked with Dan once about how challenging it must be to pull off their vocals live and I'm sure it gets no easier with these tracks.

Just as Rabbit was clearly a better album than General Winter, QQQ shows further sonic growth over its predecessor. But the Teas have avoided the trap of getting mired down in too much cerebral posturing or unnecessary shred. They achieve pleasing complexity without abandoning their strengths: unapologetic melody, colorful storytelling, and an authentic, intimate connection to their listener. Tea Club fans care about these albums because these guys give a bit of themselves to the listener, and that matters. They also manage to keep the most appealing aspects of the "Tea Club vibe" there for their fans while challenging themselves at their various personal craft. That is not easy to pull off. Many bands who try to force "progressiveness" for the sake of it end up with music that just isn't that much fun to listen to. And I'm too old for that crap.

The album's cover, like Rabbit, was painted by a wonderful artist named Kendra DeSimone (www.kendradesimone.com). I strongly suggest you check out her website if you're an art fan. In addition the inner package artwork features the cool drawings of Dan and Pat, one of those personal touches that sure beats the homogenous artwork of some other artists.

I don't give many fivers but this one is close to perfect. One of 2012's gems.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#844834) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Man I have grown to love this album. In fact that first track has become one of my favourite songs of 2012. I have had a soft spot for these guys since I first became aware of them a few years ago or so. I like their sense of humour and while I think their first two albums were good, this one is great !

The song I mentioned earlier is the almost 18 minute opener called "Firebears". Man that instrumental intro just makes me feel so good and when the vocals arrive that feeling continues. Some spoken words before 5 minutes. Man this is so good and how energetic is the drum work here ?! Vocals are passionate as he screams the words that follow. A calm after 6 1/2 minutes and i'm thinking of GENESIS for some reason. Piano and fragile vocals after 10 minutes. It's picking back up before 12 minutes but then it settles back again. It kicks back in with vocals before 14 minutes. Nice. Vocal melodies late to end it. "The Eternal German Infant" opens with passionate drumming then the vocals arrive as it settles back some. Dan is singing here and he has what I call those modern sounding vocals. Probably my least favourite track but I still dig it, especially the instrumental calm that starts after 4 1/2 minutes. Tender vocals then join in. It kicks back in after 6 1/2 minutes with multi vocals. Cool. Nice keyboard section too.

"Mister Freeze" is darker with bass and eerie sounds as the reserved vocals join in. I can't help but think of Hackett with those acoustic guitar lines. Yes GENESIS comes to mind again to my surprise. It all sounds so beautiful 5 1/2 minutes in. Great track ! "I Shall Consume Everything" continues where the last song left off with intricate acoustic guitar and reserved vocals. Then flute-like sounds join in followed by bass. I like how dark it sounds before 2 minutes then it settles back. It kicks in with angular guitar after 3 minutes. He almost screams the words after 4 minutes then the angular guitar returns. The intensity lets up before 6 minutes and the vocals return. They turn passionate again. What a song !

THE TEA CLUB is a band who's music early on was embraced by the Prog community I think to their surprise. In turn though they themselves have embraced Prog and this is the glorious results. A very solid 4 stars and still growing on me.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#884344) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 29, 2012

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 'Quickly Quickly Quickly' - The Tea Club (9/10)

Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson once stated in an interview that "...the Mars Volta, Tool, and Radiohead. . .are the future of progressive music." I would like to add The Tea Club to that list. Although these US proggers make a customary nod in the direction of the prog classics, much of their sound is drawn from the well of the current rock scene. Since 2010 with their second album "Rabbit", The Tea Club have been on the radar, and it's tantamount to criminal that I'm only first hearing them on this, their third album. To put it simply; "Quickly Quickly Quickly" is the sort of album that will only grow on the listener and the progressive community at large as time goes by. It's a wonderful fusion of post-rock aesthetic, progressive song structure and the loose-reined vigour of punk rock. Although 2012 was a year host to output of impressive records from some of progressive rock's finest, The Tea Club just may have topped them all.

Comparisons to The Mars Volta or The Dear Hunter are inevitable; besides each of these bands' names starting with everyone's favourite definite article, The Tea Club take aspects of the oft-recycled progressive formula and successfully translate them to a 21st century context. Although most of these 'nu-progressive' (or 'modern prog'- what's the term I'm supposed to use here?) artists tend to get first compared to Porcupine Tree, The Tea Club go for a much more sporadic sound. "Quickly Quickly Quickly" demonstrates this from the very start; the eighteen minute "Firebears" opens with an appropriately fiery instrumental passage that incorporates all the best elements of jazz fusion, punk, and vintage progressive rock. Of course, like all the best, The Tea Club exercise moderation in their music. "Firebears" ultimately settles down into a mellowed-out midsection with a sublime balance between soft instrumentation and captivating vocal melodies. Later on and throughout the album, The Tea Club showcase the emotive and energetic in relatively equal proportions. "The Eternal German Infant" represents this binary effect to wonderful results: it successfully pairs melodic catchiness and harmony with the sort of chaotic riffs and distortion you would normally hear in math rock.

Although certain passages (particularly the mellowed midsection of "Firebears" and the filmscore-worthy album climax) stole my heart from the first listen, "Quickly Quickly Quickly" is- contrary to the album's title- an album that took its time to grow and ferment. There aren't too many albums that manage to be instantly gratifying and long-lasting simultaneously, but the band's mixed approach ensures that the album retains its flair and poignance throughout many a listen. Possibly the most accessible and inviting aspect of The Tea Club's sound are the vocals, offered here by the brothers McGowan, Patrick and Dan. Although at times they hit the higher notes and bombast of The Dear Hunter's Casey Crescenzo (or Coheed & Cambria's Claudio Sanchez), both vocalists' strength lay in the more laid-back, mid-range vocals. If proof is needed, I refer once again to the midsection on "Firebears"- "I watched as you spun your web..." . The vocals do much more for less. On the other side of the spectrum, there are a few times when the vocals try to reach out of their regular zone, occasionally hitting 'scream' territory. Although it could have potentially worked in this sort of music, the brothers McGowan's more aggressive passages aren't as impressive as the rest of the vocal passage. Regardless, there's not a note here that leaves a bitter taste- The Tea Club have made a near-perfect album here, and still, I'm left feeling they'll be able to hit even greater heights in time.

Although "Quickly (x3)" never reaches the sort of chaotic energy that a band like The Mars Volta typically hit, the balance between musical disciplines insures that the album never feels monotonous. Even on the epic-worthy, eighteen minute opener, The Tea Club never extend themselves past what is tasteful. It's this willpower to keep themselves from exercising the 'ultra-prog' aspect of their sound that makes The Tea Club such an attractive prospect in a scene that often values technical showmanship over emotive profundity. The album's relatively brief length keeps it from ever wearing out its welcome or encroaching on dinner time, but most importantly, it's left me wanting more from the band. Check them out- by the gods- I implore thee!

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#891147) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 11, 2013

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Excellent, Excellent, Excellent

I can still remember the day when THE TEA CLUB was suggested to the Symphonic team, and we had to say no, simply because they are not Symphonic. But since Dan Mc'Gowan had sent me a copy, of their debut called General Winter's Secret Museum, listened it with interest and was very impressed with the birth of a good band.

Two years later Dan sent me a copy of Rabbit and found that the band had matured a lot. But nothing can compare with what happened this Christmas evening when the postman brought me a copy of their third album Quickly, Quickly, Quickly.

It was a complete shock to find that this guys have grown incredibly and now they embrace a new kind of Progressive Rock that blends Symphonic, Heavy Prog and some sort of inspired Eclectic that left me asking for more, if they keep improving at this rate, the sky is the limit.

The album opens with Firebears, an almost 18 minutes epic that really blows your mind even if you are prepared. After a frenetic intro where the band attacks with a violence and intensity that can only be compared to Relayer, even when more melodic. After the first two minutes the vocals join and then you can expect anything, I listen hints of KING CRIMSON, YES, VDGG, GENESIS and even RADIOHEAD, mixed with such delicacy that nothing seems out of place. The wonderful dissonance between voice, keys and guitar is breathtaking while Charles Batdorf in the bass and specially Joe Rizzolo in the drums, are the ones who are responsible to glue all the individual efforts........Simply amazing.

The Eternal German Infant is slightly different, even when they don't lose that fascination with dissonances, the song tends to be more melodic and dramatic. In some parts reminds of Derek Shulman in Advent of Panurgis but with a great difference, while GENTLE GIANT seem to search complexity as their ultimate goal creating a divorce between vocals and the random sounds they create with the instruments, the music of THE TEA CLUB becomes complex when required by the natural evolution of the song, with a perfect synchronicity between the vocalist and the rest of the band.

When I thought I had enough surprises, the dark and mysterious Mister Freeze begins with something I never expected, while the obscure and almost depressive vocals (Hey depressive is good) are enhanced by a mysterious keyboard and bass, an acoustic guitar plays a tune that reminds me of A TRICK OF THE TILE. But this is only momentary, because after a minute or so, they return to the original tune, but the fascinating thing is that if you pay close attention, you can feel the delicate variations, another delightful song.

The album is closed by the incredibly beautiful I Shall Consume Everything, but the listener needs to be ready, because the changes are constant and radical, taking us from the mellow acoustic guitar and flute (Guess synthesized) to the frenetic sections where the band attacks us with all the heavy artillery creating an intense collision of sounds and moods that any Progressive Rock fan will appreciate. In seconds they take us from calm and peace to aggression and anguish, in other words, they can transmit strong feelings which in my opinion is one of the greatest achievements of any band. Obviously my favorite song.

Normally when i reach this point in a review I'm full of doubts and asking myself what rating will be less unfair, being that a number can't summarize the music, but today I have no problems, being that THE TEA CLUB has crossed the line that divides good from extraordinaire bands who are able to release a masterpiece like Quickly, Quickly, Quickly , so without hesitation, will go with 5 solid stars.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#901441) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 28, 2013

Review by Angelo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars

Promises promises promises kept

Before this album came out, Dan asked me to have a listen to some premixed tracks, and see if I could do a review. At the time, I was quite busy, so despite playing the tracks a few time, I never got around to doing that review. Now, finally, I do have the time, so it's time to live up to the promise.

This album definitely takes some time to grow on you - at least in my case. There is so much to hear, and so much going on that it's easy to get lost, this is not for people who like verse-chorus-verse-chorus-chorus-verse-yeah style music.

Fire Bears explodes in your face straight away, with a great instrumental intro. The band members surely have the skill to hang on to their instruments in what may sound to the casual listener as chaos. If you sit down for it, you hear an intricate piece of music, that can compete with classics by Genesis, Pink Floyd or Van der Graaf Generator, while at the same time not forgetting the fact that this is the 21st Century.

The Eternal German Infant is not much different in quality, although it is a completely different track. The intro is even more 'bombastic', although using that word seems unfair. Not because bombast is bad, but because although the keyboards are clearly in the lead here, in no way does the band attempt to mimic a band like ELP. It's fresh, energetic and modern, with a hint to classic prog. Half way through the track, I can't help but being reminded of some of the tracks on Van der Graaf Generators Trisector album - and the darkness and power equal that of old VDGG.

With Mr. Freeze, in comes a completely different beast - musically speaking. The comparatively mellow track, with a prominent roll for a very modestly played bass changes the atmosphere completely. Again, it's dark as an old mansion at night with all fuses blown - but this time almost hypnotically so. A masterpiece in painting atmospheres with sound, as far as I'm concerned.

After awaking from hypnosis (even without someone snapping their fingers), I shall Consume Everything takes us to yet another galaxy. One that brings to mind waterfalls and green valleys, mainly due to the way the keyboards and guitar interact - a bit like the effect the acoustic guitar has in Rush' masterpiece 2112. The build up from their to a magical prog rock track, which once again combines power and darkness in a VDGG like manner is implemented perfectly.

When I heard General Winter's... the first time, I was impressed a lot, and I gave it four stars because I felt it had to prove itself over time. It did. With Rabbit I needed time to let the album grow on me, and I gave four stars again, because I felt there was more to come. I was right... and more has come. This time, all the good parts of the other two albums, and more, are combined. This album does not need to prove itself, it already has proven itself over the past three months.

A solid master piece, the first in many years.

As usual, thanks to Dan, for allowing me to pre-listen - and apologies for not writing this earlier

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Send comments to Angelo (BETA) | Report this review (#911644) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 09, 2013

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of those bands who, like Birds and Buildings, have a distinctly modern sound which feels like a logical continuation of the experiments of underground prog bands past rather than mere mimicry of it, The Tea Club offer an excellent collection of tracks on Quickly Quickly Quickly. Think of any progressive band from King Crimson to Radiohead and if you listen carefully you could probably find echoes of them somewhere deep in here, whether it's one of the many surprises concealed in the bizarre epic Firebears or the bombastic tantrum of the Eternal German Infant or the sinister netherworld of Mr Freeze. In a year not short on excellent prog albums, Quickly Quickly Quickly stands out as an album which will hopefully gain more widespread appreciation over time.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#931950) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars A sonic kaleidoscope, The Tea Club presents a quartet of songs that appealed to me from the start. Energetically tasteful, Quickly Quickly Quickly never fumbles under its own vigor, keeping the listener engaged throughout with a variety of interwoven sounds and a decidedly symphonic panache.

"Firebears" I knew I would like this as soon as that driven opening blasted through my speakers. The drumming throughout is a highlight, offering enough texture and variety by itself to compete with the tightly woven fibers of sound presented by the guitars and keyboards. Midway through, we're treated to a shimmery, jazz-tinged section with wandering bass and hushed vocals. The enigmatically beautiful vocal melody that closes out the piece is so satisfying.

"The Eternal German Infant" Alternating between hard-hitting incursions and a certain Echolyn-like whimsy, this second song demonstrates the broadness of style The Tea Club is capable of, all while maintaining a respectable coherence.

"Mister Freeze" Temporarily abandoning the motley soundscape for a quiet acoustic song, this contains both mellow and darker passages. It is the album's "breather," but that does not make it any less admirable.

"I Shall Consume Everything" Pairing heavy progressive rock with a bit of a country shuffle and smooth harmonies, this song has the angst-ridden edge of a band like The Dear Hunter, as it gradually adopts more symphonic elegances.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#1005633) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 26, 2013

Latest members reviews

5 stars The Tea Club are a progressive rock band from New Jersey, USA, started by brother tandem Patrick and Daniel McGowan. After honing their sound, and releasing several EPs and a couple full length albums, The Tea Club (TTC) dropped their third full length album, titled Quickly Quickly Quickly, on ... (read more)

Report this review (#930101) | Posted by Orsaeth | Thursday, March 14, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Well my first experience listening The Tea Club Very good crossover prog .Very good musicians..innovators ..creative... This is good modern prog rock. The first song Firebears my most likeable :a song with many delightful changes of styles .It reminds me sometimes old Genesis (PG era). ... (read more)

Report this review (#925913) | Posted by robbob | Thursday, March 07, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After having read some of these rather overwhelming reviews it seemed only right to go and explore for myself. Amazon kindly obliged and within 10 minutes I had the album sitting on my hard drive. Having wanted the best sound I converted the mp3 into a wave file and copied the whole album to a ... (read more)

Report this review (#906487) | Posted by Norman Kiddie | Tuesday, February 05, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Upon initially listening to this album (which was my first encounter with The Tea Club) I was not sure what to make of it. The music had moments of "classic" prog, but didn't rely on old formulas for its signature sound. What it did have in droves was an unmistakable sense of drama and urgency, an ... (read more)

Report this review (#899352) | Posted by epseja | Friday, January 25, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Tea Club "Quickly Quickly Quickly" 9/10 Upon hearing this incredible piece of art, I very quickly quickly found myself online buying more of their music. Such a fantastic effect this album had on me. I have been stunned by the sheer brilliance these gentlemen have put into Quickly Quickly ... (read more)

Report this review (#891480) | Posted by IcedPorcupine | Saturday, January 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When The Tea Club's second album "Rabbit" came out, I honestly thought, "how could McGowan's top the originality and adventure of 'Rabbit'? The band would need a genie (preferrably Robin Williams) in order to produce an album of greater caliber. But now, after hearing their third album "Quickly, Q ... (read more)

Report this review (#842984) | Posted by themortician | Monday, October 22, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Some of you may know this already about me: I love music that uses space and subtlety; I love the power that is conveyed through pause, sustain, minimal input. That is why I've been so attracted to groups like PG-era GENESIS, ANT PHILLIPS, DAVID SYLVIAN, BARK PSYCHOSIS, BJ√?RK, KARDA ESTRA, A ... (read more)

Report this review (#841349) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Sunday, October 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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