The Tea Party
The Edges of Twilight (EMI)
by Scott Hefflon
Being moved by subtly is a peculiar feeling. The Tea Party is not the new trend in rock, it’s not the flavor we love today and replace tomorrow, but what it is remains elusive. A sensuous collection of moody songs that use exotic instruments to complement the standard guitar/bass/drum rock formula. Influences are borrowed from places such as India, Turkey, and the Deep South. Somehow, it’s all blended together with Jeff Martin’s rich baritone voice. At their most shallow, they’re the best soulful grunge-rock band I know.
A mingling of three multi-instrument musicians (to finally use the term properly), The Tea Party was founded on a fascination with sounds and styles from around the globe. The passion behind their songs is a combination of the naturally thoughtful outlooks of the band members and the experiences of two years on the road. External and internal influences make The Edges of Twilight both insightful and aggressive, without falling victim to the clichés of either. The phrase I’ve avoided until now still sums the release up best: it is “savagely beautiful.” It may sound like shirking, but this is music to feel, not a record to review.