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The Tea Club - Grappling CD (album) cover

GRAPPLING

The Tea Club

 

Crossover Prog

4.06 | 179 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars THE TEA CLUB's latest offering continues down the same path as their previous album "Quickly, Quickly, Quickly" although to my ears this is more dense and more proggy. There's just so much going on at times that it's almost overwhelming. We also get wholesale changes with a new drummer, keyboardist and bassist on board while the McGowan brothers continue to lead this club writing the compositions along with playing guitar and doing the vocal parts. Oh and thankyou Dan for the free digital download.

"The Magnet" opens in an energetic manner before it settles down with vocals. The guitar is relentless as it builds. It's the guitar/ drum show before 3 minutes and check out the instrumental sound a minute later! It settles back but not for long, nice prominent bass here as well. Vocals are back after 5 minutes. "Remember Where You Were" has a laid back intro including relaxed vocals. I like the synths here as well as the organ 2 minutes in. Passionate vocals follow then they settle back along with the sound. Great section 5 minutes in followed by a killer instrumental passage. How good are the vocals when they return 6 minutes in.

"Dr. Abraham" opens in a dark and powerful manner then it calms right down as the theatrical vocals arrive. Some interesting lyrics here. It's so intense 2 minutes in followed by spoken words. It's intense again with so much going on before 4 minutes, almost avant sounding. Another calm follows with whispered vocals. It sounds like mellotron 5 minutes in then it all starts to build until chaos hits us. Great sound before 8 minutes to the end. "The Fox In The Hole" is led by theatrical vocals, drums and violin early on and check out the instrumental section after 2 minutes. So good! There's an interesting instrumental conclusion to this track as well.

"Wasp In A Wig" is my favourite song on here. Man I feel so good just hearing the intro each time as the vocals join in. Some avant leanings 2 minutes in then it turns all instrumental. The vocals are back after 3 minutes. I really like the sound after 4 minutes right to the end. "The White Book" is the almost 10 minute closer. A spacey start to this one as mellotron and vocals then join in. A GENESIS vibe takes over before 2 1/2 minutes and it's more powerful here. Vocals are back but more passionate this time. A calm before 3 1/2 minutes and vocals follow. It's spacey again before 5 minutes then kicks back in before 7 minutes. A calm before 8 1/2 minutes to the end.

I still feel that "Quickly, Quickly, Quickly" is my favourite from this band but this album is going to take some time to soak in. Certainly this is one of the better modern Prog bands out there and their whole catalogue is well worth checking out.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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