The Tea Party return to action with their new album, Blood Moon Rising, a collection of fourteen tracks recorded over a five year period in Canada and Australia. Active between 1991-2005, the Tea Party fell apart but regrouped again six years later and this new album, plus also the tours being booked, is set to build on their growing rep.
The album features material written over the course of the past 5 years, coupling the 2019 EP Black River with fascinating new material, and it’s their long overdue European follow-up to 2014’s The Ocean At The End which brought their name back into public awareness. Bass man Stuart Chatsworth stated, “After many years away from the European market, we’re thrilled to return with such a varied collection of tunes.”
The music produced by The Tea Party is something like a cross between Led Zep and Pearl Jam, encompassing blues and rock with a touch of eastern influence added. Their music is intriguing and, in Jeff Martin, they have a singer who can move between full-on screams to being quieter with no noticeable loss in quality.
They open up with Black River, with an epic riff that gets the album off to a promising start, which is followed by ‘Way Way Down’, a bluesy-rock number featuring the occasional harmonica piece and a middle 8 with a hint of Zep’s Kashmir. Whether whoever the lyricist is has been unlucky in love or not, there are a few tunes about doomed relationships or romances, such as the fine So Careless ( I’m so careless when it comes to you) and the rocking ‘Hole In My Heart‘ Summertime has an infectious Zep style riff, which is appropriate as it’s followed by ‘Out On The Tiles’, a credible cover of a Zep tune from their third album.
Title track Blood Moon Rising (Wattsy’s Song) begins like a country-rock tune and has the feel of something Keith Richards might have done with his offshoot band, the X-pensive Winos, and for this reviewer, it’s the best track on the album, along with the hard-rocking ‘Shelter’. There’s even a slight deviation into AOR with ‘The Beautiful’, a sensitive tune with heartfelt lyrics about wanting to be reunited with your lover, and ‘Our Love’ .. our love is a new heart rising.
When Canadian bands are mentioned, it’s usually Triumph or the mighty Rush, but The Tea Party deserve a mention as well, especially on the evidence of this release. Maybe a few more dates in the UK would help raise their profile somewhat?