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The Tea Party - Splendor Solis CD (album) cover


The Tea Party


Crossover Prog

3.80 | 72 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars THE TEA PARTY really took Canada by storm in the early to mid-nineties with their Middle- Eastern flavoured brand of Rock. It was like listening to Jim Morrison singing for LED ZEPPELIN but with all those ethnic instruments. A power trio and each a multi- instrumentalist.Jeff Martin the vocalist also played guitar, sitar, oud, sarod, banjo, mandolin and dumbek. Stuart Chatwood the bass player also played guitar, keyboards, harmonium, tambura, cello, percussion, lap pedal guitar, bass pedals and mandolin. Drummer Jeff Burrows also played tablas, percussion, djembe and goblet drums. And these guys put on one hell of a live show too.This album was really their first official release and sold over a million copies in Canada, which was huge considering our small population. I still remember when they toured Australia and the reports coming back indicated that the people there fell in love with them as well. While their sound was familiar considering that DOORS and ZEPPELIN flavour yet they had these incredible lyrics and that ethnic sound that was different.They could be so powerful and emotional and at the same time play these beautiful acoustic tracks that made everyone think of "The Rain Song" or "The Song Remains The Same". Still for me this is barely 4 stars because the best was yet to come in the form of their next album "The Edges Of Twilight".

The early nineties were refreshing for me personally after the absolute crap that was on the radio from 1987 to 1989. Bands from Canada like OUR LADY PEACE,MOIST, I MOTHER EARTH and of course THE TEA PARTY restored my faith in music somewhat along with the Seattle Scene.

"The River" opens with that Eastern flavour as drums come pounding in then guitar reminding me of ALICE IN CHAINS. Vocals join in singing "Sailing down, down the styx again, without you my love..." Riffs kick in as the tempo picks up and themes will be repeated. "Midsummer Day" is one of those beautiful acoustic tracks with reserved vocals. It does kick in hard at one point before settling back. "A Certain Slant Of Light" has a psychedelic flavour as sounds sort of echo. I like when it kicks in as contrasts continue. "Winter Solstice" is a short acoustic track. "Save Me" is probably my favourite track.The lyrics are meaningful and there's a lot of emotion. "The Sun Going Down" is a very Bluesy track. I like when it picks up with fast paced vocals before settling back. "In This Time" is an acoustic tune. "Dreams Of Reason" is fairly laid back. A rare guitar solo after 3 1/2 minutes is a relaxing one. Cool tune. "Raven Skies" is more upbeat with vocals. Love the drum work 2 1/2 minutes in. "Haze On The Hills" is a short acoustic instrumental. "The Majestic Song" ends the album in a positive manner lyrically.

The band thanks radio station CFNY, the same station that inspired RUSH's song "The Spirit Of Radio" many years previous.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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