The only Tea Party that really matters is the legendary band from Canada. Now 10 years after releasing their last album, the band have a new album, "The Ocean
at the End," which fortunately sounds exactly as they have always sounded. The band still mix Middle Eastern sounds with their classic Zeppelin-like approach
- "Moroccan roll" as it was called. Add the distinctive vocals of Jeff Martin
and no one else can sound like The Tea Party. "The Ocean at the End" picks up where "Seven Circles" left off, as if no time has passed.
The album starts off strong with "The L.o.C.," which sounds a bit like "The Song Remains
the Same" or "Achilles Last Stand." I'm not complaining since I love both of those songs. The band have plenty of songs that should and will be hits (at least in Canada). "The Black Sea" and "Water's
on Fire" are both singles and it's easy to hear why. Both songs have memorable choruses and rock out. Another track that is just amazing is "The Maker," a cover of a Daniel Lanois song
that fits The Tea Party as if it were their own. The title track is another highlight. It's the longest track and a great mini-epic, with an extended guitar solo that showcases Jeff Martin's other talent. The band is very much the sum of all three members and not just the Jeff Martin
Band. Without Stuart Chatwood on keys and bass and Jeff Burrows on drums, the band wouldn't have their unique sound.
The album as a whole is great, but I could do without the bluesy "The Cass Corridor," which just doesn't fit with the rest of the album, and the closing ambient track, "Into
the Nothing," which doesn't really add anything to the proceedings. Regardless of those
two missteps, songs like "Black Roses" and "Cypher" are some of the best they've ever written. "Cypher" sounds like it could have been on "Transmission!"
It's great to have The Tea Party back in business. Hopefully they can make us all forget about the American political movement of the same name!