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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars tea party are back, 18 Oct 2002
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This review is from: Interzone Mantras [Australian Import] (Audio CD)
Ever since the release of their first album, i deemed tea party a band with a great future. The first album was exciting rock music with interesting eastern influences, which showed this is a band with great potential. Then came the second album, which really knocked me over. Still i consider it one of the best albums of the nineties, with its full sound and cosmic scope. Had this band made their masterpiece too early? The third album therefore had a lot to do to live up to the expectations, and it did, although not at first sight. That the band did not make an 'edges of twilight revisited' only pleads for them. Triptych, their fourth full length studio album, is their most eclectic and difficult work, inspired by symbolism and french literature. It's their least accessible work to date, and showed the band struggling with th ethin line between rock music and mere eclecticism, with the danger of merely becoming a band's band.
Now here's the successor to Triptych, again heavily influenced by eastern thinking. Don't be put off by the cover, this is a rock album, not a celebration of eastern religion and philosophy. And a pretty good rock album at that. Not as brilliant as 'the edges of twilight', but nevertheless a lot more interesting than most rock albums today. Less eclectic then its predecessor, and it only profits from that. Interzone mantras is an album which confirms that tea part is one of the most exciting bands today, a band not afraid to make hybrid music, not shunning the experiment with different styles, while preserving their identity and establishing their own voice. Expec no straightforward rock music, but an album that really gains on you, until you realise that you have a small germ of brilliance in your collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interzoning, 8 Feb 2006
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E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Canadian rock'n'roll is finally getting itself on the front pages of music magazines. So it's a shame that the recently disbanded Tea Party is still largely obscure.
So put away the other wonderful Canadian bands for a moment (I love Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene, okay?), and explore a darker, wilder niche. This Canadian band seems like the love child of the Doors and Led Zeppelin, and "the Interzone Mantras" shows them off at their blistering, hypnotic best.
In a way, it's a concept album: The songs roam all over the musical board, whether it's heartbreaking violin ballads, or teeth-rattler rock'n'roll that Led Zeppelin would not be ashamed of. It explores the faces of hopelessless, evil, apathy and the "the beautiful abyss," before turning out beautiful songs like "White Water Siren" and the finale "Mantra," which come to the conclusion that "love is all we have/love is all we need."
The best of the bunch is undoubtedly "The Master and Margarita," based on Mikhail Bulgakov's novel about the devil roaming 1930s Moscow. "So now that your faith's gone who are you going to trust?/now that your conscience is crawling in the dust!" Martin sneers, sounding both seductive and frightening.
But good as that song is, it's not the most striking. Martin wrote "Soul Breaking" about a letter a girl sent him, about her sexual abuse. You can hear the raw emotion as he sings, "You can't seem to run away/because every time the past's awakened/every time your soul starts breaking..." It may be one of Tea Party's finest songs ever.
A lot of critics label Tea Party as pretentious. Well, if it's pretension, then it's the best kind. Tea Party piles on different sounds and cultures -- bits of Russian and Middle-Eastern mostly -- along with blistering guitar riffs and sizzling basslines, swirling into each other in a hypnotic manner. Even the slower songs like "Angels" have some white-hot riffs.
And Jeff Martin should have quite a chunk of the credit. He sounds a bit like Jim Morrison's tamer little brother, with that amazing voice that manages to rise above the noise. It's sensual, rich and flexible, and he can belt out those complex lyrics as if he were born knowing how.
One of Tea Party's best albums, "Interzone Mantra" is a wonderfully nuanced album, with plenty of white-hot hard-rock as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Listen Album, 11 Aug 2004
This review is from: Interzone Mantras [Australian Import] (Audio CD)
Interzone Mantras just might be the best all around album The Tea Party has recorded.
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Interzone Mantras [Australian Import]
Interzone Mantras [Australian Import] by Tea Party (Audio CD - 2001)
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