Band: The Tea Club

CD Title: Grappling

Band Website: www.theteaclub.net  

Label: Independent Release (2015)

Rating: Brilliant 5/5


The Tea Club, amaze me as they go from strength to strength with each release. Grappling is their fourth studio release and even though it looks like the McGowan brothers have changed the rest of the line-up to include three new members, once again they have delivered six compositions full of brilliant complex symphonic inspired progressive rock. All but one of these compositions is mid-length, six to ten minutes featuring all manner of shifting time, tempo and structural elements. The Echolyn feel is still there as a reference point but more than ever that influence has clearly become a foundational element to The Tea Club sound. After four albums the band has established a sound that is clearly theirs – music that is ever changing, building in intensity before subsiding, grand crescendos with huge swells of music all structured in complex and intricate polyrhythmic rock songs. Instrumental and vocal counterpoint is everywhere. It’s beautiful! The musicianship is quite spectacular throughout, great guitars, keyboards and bass but I have to say a word about the drumming: Tony Davis is absolutely amazing. He reminds me of Neil Peart’s drumming style, where different patterns are everywhere – similarly Davis rarely seems to repeat himself – and this gives these six compositions an even more complex feel on the rhythmic side. When put together the music on Grappling is clearly an amazing step up for The Tea Club. Once again I find myself almost at a loss for words other than to say if you’ve never listened to The Tea Club you MUST check them out. They get my highest recommendation.