THE TEA PARTY – BLOOD MOON RISING (Insideout Music, 2021)

A gift from the Gods of Rock!!!

Genre: Classic Rock, Heavy Rock 

Rating: 8,5/10

I’m starting to get fat. Fat and lazy. Fat, lazy and absent-minded. Fat, lazy, abs… oh, for fuck’s sake! Who cares anyway? It’s an old man’s ontological structure, we’re hopelessly wired that way. I’m constantly telling myself I should get more exercise, eat healthier and all of those major bullshits we use to circumvent our own incapacitated minds in a pathetic effort to give a decent meaning at least to our last days on this fabulous spinning rock. Figure that this morning, instead of walking my 10000 steps, I decided to drown my sorrows in a foamy lake of hot maple syrup. It poured down my pancakes like brown gold from heaven. You know what? Everything from Canada is a gift from the gods, I tell you. Maybe it’s the sugar speaking from the creaky recesses of my arteries, but I can stand by my assertion your honor. You want hard proof? How mistrustful of you, my little stoned gargoyles… Well, I have evidence to submit. I know you wouldn’t bet your last fiver on that, but I have. And I’m gonna put it right here, on my turntable. Just for you. On the day of our lord November 26th 2021 The Tea Party released their ninth studio album titled Blood Moon Rising for award winning Insideout Music; yes, the same incredible team based in Dortmund (once Kleve) that brought you Dream Teather, David Townsend and Enchant, among many others. But let’s keep our ten neurons on topic. Our guys were originally from Windsor, Ontario, and they met each other at the Cherry Beach Rehersal Studios in Toronto after a seemingly never endind jam session blessed by the gods of Rock ‘n Roll. Singer and guitarist Jeff Martin produced their eponymous first album in 1991 recreating with fellow compadres Stuart Chatwood on bass and Jeff Burrows on drums the same hazy and psychedelic atmosphere of Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs’ hash sessions (hence the name). The rest is history, someone would say. Not me. History is yesterday. Here we’re talking of something going on right now. “Black River” welcomes you in the fascinating, exotic world of The Tea Party: “...come with me now, you’ll never be alone...”! Cutting edge riffs, monolythic drumming, rock solid basslines. Mix it up with a bit of acoustic echoes from the best sixties, some high-energy vocals and a couple of groovy but straight-to-the-point solos and voilà, you get the idea of what you’re messing with. Strap yourselves lads, it’s a no-stop ride to RockVille from here: next track, “Way Way Down”, is a heavy, swampy blues powered by a high voltage riff and a harp that seems to be evoked right from the infamous crossroad, all seasoned with our lads trademarked oriental flavour. This record seems to be cut just for me, my dearest dropouts: everything I love is here, influences from New Wave to Seventies Rock to Prog-Kraut, all shaked and served with a personal touch that gives the whole a coherence that goes far beyond inspiration and constitutes the stylistic footprint of our power trio from Canada. There’s even space for a cover song. And what a cover. “Out on The Tiles”, from Led Zeppelin III, is treated with the utmost respect by our lads, though with an unmistakable flavour that screams Tea Party all over the place. Lots of great ballads too, ranging from the nineties-flavoured “Sunshower” to the riff-powered “Summertime” to the title-track, a classic-rock sounding song spiced up with some very interesting melodic twists. What else do you get for your hard earned money? Let’s see… “Hole in My Heart” is a more complex, almost progressive cut that sports a potent, throbbing no frills but a lot of thrills bassline. But that’s still not all: if you happen to get the digital or the CD version of the album (shame on you, anyway) you’ll get a couple of awesome treats. More covers. Wonderful covers. Oh my goodness. “Everyday is Like Sunday” could have been almost identical to the original, if it wasn’t for the amazing vocal qualities of mr Jeff Martin that steered  the track on a vibe that’s more close to Bowie that Morrissey; on the other hand, “Isolation” by Joey Division is given a smooth treatment that sets a mood that reminds me of Simple Minds’ forgotten gem, Real to Real Cacophony. At this point in time and space you could say you know me like the palm of your filthy sinful hands, my little chaos cultists. You know and I know I’m saving the best for last, don’t we? I’m so predictable, alas, unlike “Shelter”: that’s where the band really shines, a very elegant ballad dripping Eighties vibes, moved on by some intriguing guitar work generously splashed on a dreamy and alien atmosphere à la Space Oddity. Just like eating waffles soaked in maple syrup on a frozen lake. And that proves my point. As always.



1) Black River

2) Way Way Down

3) Sunshower

4) So Careless

5) Our Love

6) Hole In My Heart

7) Shelter

8) Summertime

9) Out On The Tiles - Led Zeppelin cover

10) The Beautiful

11) Blood Moon Rising (Wattsy’s Song)

12) Isolation - Joy Division cover *

13) Everyday Is Like Sunday - Morrison cover *

14) Way Way Down (Bonus Live version) *

* Digipack CD/Digital Album Bonus


- Line-up: 

Jeff Martin: Vocals, Guitar

Stuart Chatwood: Bass, Keyboards

Jeff Burrows: Drums, Percussions


- Article by: Karl Eisenmann

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