The Tea Party - The Ocean at the End

The Tea Party The Ocean at the End cover
The Tea Party
The Ocean at the End
InsideOut Music
The Tea Party, the Canadian rockers not the bunch of American moronic politicians – hardcore republican, bunch of cunts, spearheaded by that Alaskan queen of Alcoholics Irresponsibles, Sarah, what’s her name, are back with their eighth album, ten years after their last one. It’s the first studio album since their reunion in 2011 and that stopgap has given them some time to reflect and to appreciate their collective works, while their frontman, Jeff Martin, also was busy with a solo career, that took him around the world multiple times during the “downtime”.
The band continues to be multifaceted as ever, difficult to describe, with all their mixing of rock, prog, blues and ethnic/world influences into a tasteful, dazzling mix. They pretty much backtrack to the early 00’s and this feels much more like the spiritual successor to 2001’s the “Interzone Mantras” than 2004’s slightly more contemporary “Seven Circles” ever did.
The opening track “The Line.Of.Control”, is probably Tea Party at their most contemporary and perfectly poppy and easy on the ear in every way.
But as soon as “The Black Sea”, comes through the soundwaves, you’re greeted, by a very familiar style and sound, that you’ve probably loved about “The Tea Party”... that mysterious, dark, sexy, quasi orchestral fashion in which they weave their musical canvas is quite unmistakable.
“Cypher” is a lot more dominated by strong beats and eastern influences than its predecessor to an almost hypnotic level, with the entire band masterfully churning out their own brand of “Marrock’n’Roll”.
“The Maker” is quite different, as it has an almost Chris De Burgh quality about it, but with a Martin vocal, which is definitely deeper and more resonant, which makes it a bit more “hurt” and biblical.
“Black Roses” has an interesting style and some folklore touches, as it marries some rather unlikely influences, into an uneasy and temporary alliance, for its duration, and it swings between dramatic and slightly humorous, rather nicely.
“Brazil” is very rhythmical, to the point it’s almost going to make you want to make you want to get up and dance and it’s very condemning of the state of things and of how the powers that be, want to “steal” it’s wealth… (which is it agriculture?) One of the “sleeper-hits”...
“The 11th Hour” is in contrast vastly different and very urban, with a bit of an 80s Bowie vibe.
“Submission” is also similar with more gothic/electronic elements thrown into the mix.
The following “The Cass Corridor” is a bit of simple sounding rock n roll, that has some swagger, but other than a nice idea, seems to be somewhat one dimensional.
Thankfully the rather “epic” “Water’s on Fire”, comes to the rescue, it might not really ever erupt into something tremendously big, but its sublime melodies, will easily take you back to the 90s.
Furthermore, the title track “The Ocean at the End” even if it can be described as slightly lethargic, is also magically, mystical and heart achingly beautiful so… it’s eight plus minutes pass without notice.
Last but not least there’s a very “drone-y” “dopey” piece entitled “Into the Unknown” that must have Theremin and shit, going on, because it’s rather formless and free flowing and all over the place, but interesting nonetheless! Mind-fu(n)ck!
Well with all of the members – not so many of them, being a trio, playing a whole load of instruments, this is another very interesting album that certainly lives up to their name and their reputation. I think the world’s a slightly better place with this bunch, together and making music than it was without them, at least artistically speaking. And fans of the band will not be disappointed at all with this. Ehm for first timers, if you like what you hear, which could be described as a bit of The Cult’s quietest moments, mixed with a bit of Zeppelin – when Plant wasn’t acting like a golden god with influences of world music all over – go right ahead, although checking out the bands earliest works might be a better idea/starting point.