Back in the peak of the 90s, The Tea Party were one of the few bands at the forefront of Canadian hard rock music. They were kinda the odd kid in town bringing in influences from the middle east with such instruments as sitars, harps and goblet drums in their music. They really stood out with an exotic feel that seems a bit too far out for some listeners, but very magical for others, including me.
I started listening to the band when they released the album The Edges Of Twilight back in 1995. The video for the song “Sister Awake” had played on Much Music at the time, and I was instantly blown away by the intensity of the song. The song was so dark, and was so badass, the vocals & lyrics coming out of lead singer Jeff Martin‘s mouth almost felt that he was singing right into my soul. After that, I fell in love with their music, and went through the journey of 7 albums within the span of 10 years.
The band went through many transformations, not with the line-up, but their music evolved from influential classic rock to industrial rock, into a mainstream style rock. By 2004, the band, like so many other Canadian hard rock bands, decided to either take a break, call it quits or join other bands. Some of the other bands spawned from The Tea Party were Jeff Martin’s solo work, and with his band, The Armada; Jeff Burrows hooked up with Edwin (former IME) and Mike Turner (former OLP) to form Crash Karma. But with all of this activity, there was this hope that they would come back as a band.
When I heard that they started touring a few years back, I was pretty excited. But nothing really came out of it, until a few months ago when they released their latest album, The Ocean At The End.
Their latest single off the album, titled “Water’s On Fire”, is a melodic rock-ballad that doesn’t quite fit into today’s modern rock radio. But their sound really picks up where their previous album, The Interzone Mantras, left off. The vocals on this track are very emotionally driven, the sound is soulful, and there’s just no sign of this band slowing down. Jeff Martin now sounds just as good as Jeff Martin circa 1995. Check out the track below.
Also, just a heads up, the band will playing at the Olympic Community Hall tomorrow night in Halifax, alongside local rockers Alert The Medic. (Nov 20th). For details, check out the Sonic Concert website for ticket information and showtime. This is a live show that you will not want to miss. Simply saying, The Tea Party are fucking amazing live! And with Alert The Medic, you’re in for a good time.