In my formative years as a young Canadian, a cassette tape recording of the Tea Party’s Splendor Solis was handed to me by a college friend so that I might check it out before they performed in a small east coast club the next evening. Incidentally, their opening act was an up-and-coming Canadian band nobody had yet heard of called Our Lady Peace. Fast forward many years, hit singles, a breakup, and subsequent reformation, and finally they’re back with a double CD recording of their 2012 Australian tour.
If it could be said that elder bands sometimes reform for a half-hearted money grab (and I believe it can) let me assure you there’s none of that going on here. Jeff Martin, the reluctant reincarnation of Jim Morrison, sounds as vibrant and passionate about what he’s doing as he did during those jaw-dropping nights decades ago. This is a remarkable retelling of the Tea Party’s story from the early days to their later hits with an energy that suggests it was recorded from a time machine. It stands as a testament to the staying power of their unique media-dubbed “Moroccan-roll” sound. The quality can also be appreciated as a collection of some of their best material which could attract new audiences as well as excite nostalgic old fans.
I actually fell in love with the Cure through their amazing live record Show and I think that the Tea Party have pulled off exactly that scale of career chronicle with this album. Performances such as “Psychopomp” will inspire a reintroduction and given that it was entirely crowd-funded, I guess I have you to thank for that.