Maybe it was a combination of nerves and being well-rehearsed, who knows. But the rest of the album doesn't try to repeat the energy of that track, and it shouldn't. It's telling that many of the songs fade out. Midnight Tea Party will be launching Massilia on December 8th at The Newsagency in Sydney. Well, 'The Watcher' is pretty bad, really. Now, with their new album Massilia, the band have delivered a truly unique and hypnotising collection of songs.
You can find the list of The Tea Party tour dates here. Save the most progressive track for the end. This song succeeds only because the passion has been torn out of it. When it needs to pull some hard punches, it does, and there are some truly monstrous riffs to be found here, and the 'prog' side is more of a 'it's not generic trite' than a 'it has billions of solos' style of prog. The occasional surprise the delicious, sumptuous horns in Exhibit B and outright brilliance Exhibit C: the entirety of 'White Water Siren', but especially the chorus riff, oooooh make this an album I play again and again, albeit in reduced form as a 40-minute playlist.
After this release, they were signed to Chrysalis and sold over a million copies of their official 1st release Splendor Solis, their most successful album to date. Look, these songs are great. The Tea Party is a Canadian rock band with blues, progressive rock, Indian and Middle Eastern influences, dubbed Moroccan roll by the media. The song doesn't take full advantage of such an intriguing beginning which is a complaint one could levy at most of the tracks on this album but it is wildly atmospheric and needs to be heard to be believed. The drama peaks on 'A Certain Slant of Light', which is carried by an outstanding vocal performance laid on a strong rhythm section and an excellent guitar riff. Swirling out of the Canadian north, swoops down on you like a blizzard, and sounds like it's at the center of the storm. But with a more liberal sprinkling of prog dust it could have been so much more.
Full of hard rock thrust with industrial edge, give by a try. And the same thing goes for its genre. Again I must emphasise that this is not a poor album. The Tea Party save their best effort for last, with the sprawling, evocative epic that is the title track. I'm going to say this straight away - this is better than any Rush record. For some reason the band felt the need to insert two of their blues numbers 'Turn The Light Down Low' and 'Since I've Been Loving You' - sorry, I mean 'Drawing Down The Moon' - just delete or skip if you're not a fan of this sort of stuff I'm not. If this is your cup of tea, read on.
That section is my favourite part of the tune now! Listened to in isolation - perhaps as part of one of their earlier albums - these tracks wouldn't be too bad. But I would genuinely choose to listen to 'Transmission' twice in a row than follow it with this one. On their new album Massilia, Sydney five-piece Midnight Tea Party will take you on a sprawling journey through some bizarre, far-away universe. I am not compelled to listen. Silky, our drummer, mixed the whole album in a studio in the basement of his house so cold! From there we kept jamming on it and adding new parts. Jukepot The first riff in Jukepot came from a sound I was messing with on the Juno 106.
Take it away Midnight Tea Party… Fresh off the release of their new album Massilia, we caught up with Sydney five-piece Midnight Tea Party for a track-by-track run-down. Overall, this is a fine, if slightly pretentious album. But to get there you will have already rocked out with 'Fire In The Head', an opener with more than enough power and subtlety to please, 'The Bazaar', a shorter track based on an eastern rhythm, and the longer, slower, bluesy 'Correspondences', a prog track good enough to be the highlight of many artists' careers. To my mind this is exactly what a progressive band needed to do in the 90s - take from the dominant musical cultures to flavour their own work. And those flavours are stolen without apology. Okay, maybe Moving Pictures tops it, but The Tea Party, at least for me, manage to merge prog and hard rock in a way that doesn't make me cringe internally. Have a listen to 'Cypher' to hear what I mean.
Two years ago The Tea Party showed beyond any doubt that they could bring their magic back in performance mode, but perhaps the greater challenge was being able to recreate it in the studio again. The music here is tastefully written and arranged, which is a rarity for hard-edged rock music, even featuring soft, lengthy, piano led pieces, and a rather impressive acoustic instrumental piece, 'The Badger', focusing brilliantly on the harmonic play that many of the heavy riffs have, but with the acoustic instrument it takes its own form. They are so very good at it. . Was it worth them reforming the band? Despite me describing this as progressive hard rock a number of times, the majority of the album wouldn't exclusively fit in either. Album opener Mastermunk will ease you in with otherworldly synths, before exploding into an all-out assault of deeply infectious grooves. The songs sound like inferior copies of what's gone before.
When the glorious chorus arrives, after over two minutes' worth of largely acoustic setup, it is a substantial shock. This is more or less the best progressive hard rock album I have heard, and it came out in 1995. I think this is an excellent example of how a song's arrangement is crucial. They have cleansed this record of anything that might irritate or hook the listener and, in so doing, have rendered it sterile. The Ocean at the End 12. Active throughout the 1990s and up until 2005, the band re-formed in 2011. This isn't wanky nonsense with a punchier bass to give it a hard rock tag, nor is it dadrock with long songs to give it a prog tag.
Musically competent, full of excellent melodies. This power rock trio from Canada took their formula of hard rock blues and folky acoustic sound and slathered a layer of Middle-Eastern instruments, melodies and timing all over it, to end up with half a dozen all-time rock classics, surrounded by another half-dozen lesser but still excellent tracks. Some are outstanding, and the band certainly take more risks than they were taking in 2005. Splendor Solis is organised around a solid centre of excellent material: the first five songs are well crafted, powerful and fit together very satisfyingly. There's no 'Sister Awake' or even 'Save Me', but there are searing rockers and I mean searing: 'Temptation', 'Pulse' and 'Gyroscope' stick their fingers in your ears and try to gouge out your eardrums and intriguing, superbly original tracks, such as the title track. After four acoustic tracks somes the highlight of this release.