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The Tea Club - Grappling CD (album) cover

GRAPPLING

The Tea Club

 

Crossover Prog

4.03 | 197 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars A couple months ago received a mail from Dan McGowan who plays guitar in THE TEA CLUB, telling me that he had sent a copy of their latest album Grappling to my apartment, the time passed and never came, so after Christmas and all the movement of those days forgot about the record. In January Dan sent me another message asking if I liked what I heard, but I had to tell him that it never reached Lima, so he sent another one that received two days ago. Now after three months of waiting playing it like 20 times in 4 days, I feel comfortable reviewing it?.So let's go.

Every time I listen a new TEA CLUB album I get impressed with the maturity they keep acquiring, but when I stated to play The Magnet was absolutely shocked with the change. Even when they still play in their usual style (in general terms), the band is much more aggressive and musical than ever. But now they add radical changes, excellent vocals and amazing percussion that are like candy to my ears?I don't know how it's possible for the guys to keep improving with every release, but this time they shoot the ball out of the park with this complex and amazing song.

Remember Where You Were begins soft and atmospheric, but as the song advances, the music grows in intensity without leaving the dark and mysterious sound but adding interesting influences from the 70's, blending the frantic sound of "Lark's Tongues in Aspic" with the most pastoral moments of "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", simply mind-blowing.

Dr. Abraham is hard to describe, because this is not what I expected from the hard rock band with Prog leanings who released "General Winter's Secret Museum" back in 2008, now they are playing some of the most elaborate music I heard in the past 5 years. They will remain in Heavy Prog because the guidelines of the site, but they are playing a different stuff that I would describe as a 100% Eclectic Prog with heavy leanings.

The Fox in the Hole reminds me a lot of GENTLE GIANT with a modern twist and an "in your face" attitude, this guys know how much they have grown and no longer are afraid to show it. The vibrant violin passage by Jamie Wolff in the vein of GENTLE GIANT and the complex vocal sections by Dan and Patrick really impressed me.

Wasp in the Wig starts as a blues based heavy song, but after the second minute, you can expect anything, this time the piano and synths by Reinhardt McGeddon are out of his world. I tried to find references from other keyboardists to somehow locate myself, but I can't, because this sound is unique and a delight for Progressive Rock listeners.

The album is closed by The White Book, a song I won't even attempt to describe, because is one in a kind, they move from a soft Mellotron intro to frenetic passages, acoustic guitar solos and even dark and almost Gregorian chorales, you must listen to believe what this guys are doing.

After listening the whole album repeatedly, I'm in deep trouble, being that if the guys of THE TEA CLUB keep on this path, I will need a new rating system for their next release?This time I will go with a 5 solid stars for a really amazing album.

PS: Special mention to Tony Davis who does an outstanding job in the drums.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |

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