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The Tea Party: Transmission

If anyone saw my episode of album homework assignment on the Sea of Tranquility YouTube site, you know that I was highly impressed with lead singer/guitarist Jeff Martin, and that is not to take anything away from the band, who create a lot of sound for three guys. Transmission is the bands 4th release, which signaled a departure from a more traditional rock/blues, to adding Industrial/electronica influences along with a heavy dose of Middle Eastern motifs. It is an intriguing blend that I rather enjoyed once I had taken this for a few spins.

The opening “Temptation” is a quick and powerful smack in the face, everything is on ten, and it only takes 3 minutes to know you have a fun ride ahead of you. As with a lot of their songs, a big catchy chorus grabs your ear and won’t let go, plenty of melody throughout. “Psychopomp” opens with acoustic guitar and Martin’s vocal, this band knows how to build a song. They slowly add instruments (piano, atmospheric keys, lots of sounds and noises), until they head into another great chorus. It’s like every 10 or 15 seconds another part is added, and the buildup is worth the wait, an extremely powerful track. “Gyroscope” has a great feel and cadence to the vocal line, and is a track that I cannot get out of my head. The band does not let up until you get to track 6 “Release” which for me is much too repetitive and slow. The album goes out with a whimper on the dragging “Aftermath”, but then again, you have to let your foot off the gas sometimes, right? The title track is full of voices, sound effects, some interesting percussion (that I wish they used more of) and a droning trancelike cadence to the vocal. A crushing vocal in the chorus has Martin screaming convincingly. The guy has the pipes, and comes across very well in the studio, live he must really be something! When these guys are at their best, they combine heavy drums and guitars, with atmospheric keyboards to create moods and textures over a rock solid foundation. They also have a moodier side on songs like “Emerald” and the hidden track “Embryo”, both which remind me of Porcupine Tree (in a good way) both in structure and instrumentation.

The Tea Party had their share of success in their native Canada, and also in Australia with Transmission reaching double platinum and gold status respectively. I plan to check out more from this band, and it will be another one of life’s mysteries as to how they missed the mark on hitting it big in the United States.

Track List:

  1. Temptation 3:25
  2. Army Ants 3:33
  3. Psychopomp 5:17
  4. Gyroscope 2:56
  5. Alarum 4:58
  6. Release 4:05
  7. Transmission 5:17
  8. Babylon 2:50
  9. Pulse 4:09
  10. Emerald 4:51
  11. Aftermath 5:43

Added: August 24th 2021
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 865
Language: english

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