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The Tea Party – The Ocean at the End Award winner

The Tea Party
The Ocean at the End
by Matt Coe at 21 October 2014, 2:57 PM

After a decade long sabbatical from the studio in terms of fresh material, Canada’s Progressive/ Exotic Rock trio THE TEA PARTY unleashes a premiere record in “The Ocean at the End”. Originally forming in 1990, they experienced a majority of their critical acclaim and success in the latter half of that decade. Their last studio album “Seven Circles” came out in 2004, and the band would break up a year later. Reforming in 2011 for touring purposes, the spark returns as this 12 track effort brings us full force to the amazing songwriting and performance chops at hand.

To clearly describe the trio in a few short words is impossible. They are psychedelic and throwback at times, Hard Rock when they want to be, Atmospheric if necessary, and always left of center in their Progressive ways. Songs like “The Black Sea” and “Submission” have this stripped down purity that brings us back to the earthy roots of Rock – both from North America and also the UK. Sure you will hear snippets of LED ZEPPELIN come through the guitar strumming and build-up of opener “The L.o.C.” and “The 11th Hour” – while the vocal styling of Jeff Martin can be a lower register Scott Weiland (STONE TEMPLE PILOTS) – but really listen deeply to the trio’s ingenious compositional skills and free flow jam escapades to understand the brilliance at hand.

“Brazil” has a lot of acoustic and chanting nuances against a forceful rhythmic foundation that reminds me of RUSH – while the 8 minute, 37 second title cut explores the softer, introspective side of the band – the lighter sounds cascading as if setting sail solo on uncharted waters- Jeff delivering a prolonged solo in the vein of a lot of his 70’s heroes. Even the keyboards often offer solace or set up features in mysterious manners – such as the opening notes for “Cypher” that give way to guitar/bass to drum back and forth tradeoffs, the vocal melodies odd and BEATLES oriented.

For an eighth studio album “The Ocean at the End” represents THE TEA PARTY in a comfortable light- confident and enjoying the pleasure of each musician’s company so to speak. Those who like Progressive Rock with Classic and Exotic touches, this would be a good start to get into their catalog.

4 Star Rating

1. The L.o.C.
2. The Black Sea
3. Cypher
4. The Maker
5. Black Roses
6. Brazil
7. The 11th Hour
8. Submission
9. The Cass Corridor
10. Water’s On Fire
11. The Ocean at the End
12. Into the Unknown
Jeff Martin – Vocals, Guitars
Stuart Chatwood – Bass, Keyboards
Jeff Burrows – Drums, Percussion
Record Label: InsideOut Music


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Edited 26 November 2022

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