[Review] The Tea Club – If / When

The Tea Club is an independent Progressive Rock band from New Jersey, formed in 2003. Four years have passed since the release of “Grappling“, during which there have been changes in training. Joseph Dorsey joins the keyboards and Daniel Monda on drums, the McGowan brothers remain, also the bassist Jamie Wolff. Also on this album there is a stylistic change compared to the previous ones, remaining always in the Prog Rock line, even if the band had metamorphoses during its 5 albums. Composed of 7 tracks, the first six lasting between 2:40 and 6:36 minutes, more set on the song, in the final they propose a suite of over 27 minutes, returning to a more “pure” Prog. “The Way You Call” is a brief introduction of acoustic guitar with a great voice. “Say Yes” is a more energetic and direct piece, distorted guitars, choruses and an animated rhythmic base, even the text and the vowel are of impact, in the end a brief variation and the closure. “If I Mean When” is an acoustic ballad, which shows the vocal talents and the most melodic vein of the band, an almost dreamy atmosphere accompanies all 4:21 minutes. “Rivermen” is a very soft intro, where keyboards and Voice are on calm and melodic tones. Calm is interrupted in the middle of the song which transforms with an aggressive ending and with distorted guitar and powerful drums. “Came at a Loss” is another dreamy song and set more on the “song”, the voice is high leveled and manages to express itself at its best on the musical carpet composed of guitar and piano. “Sinking Ship” is another quality acoustic ballad, which sometimes resembles the sound of Crosby, Stills and Nash. The second part of the album, if we can define it this way, is composed almost by “Creature“, a suite where The Tea Club pour all the ambitions of the album. The piece goes through various phases and styles, rich in keyboard interludes, sometimes frantic, sometimes more experimental. This suite allows the band to get rid of inhibitions and to dare to overcome the obstacles imposed by the patterns of a genre. This year the Progressive record releases have been many and high level, this is one of those. After a softer start, with the final song, they show their great gifts. The first traces are so simple and easier to listen to, so much is the fairy suite elaborated and complex, raising the disc’s quality level a lot. All are good passages, but given the time and the quality expressed, this song makes it the master. A confirmation, despite the changes in formation and style between an album and myself, by inserting new elements, always well-chosen. Given its different facets, this album is recommended for Neo Prog lovers, but given the symphonic features it is not necessary to be a Progressor to appreciate this work. The band have also published an official video fro the track “Sinking Ship”:


1. The Way You Call (02:39)
2. Say Yes (04:12)
3. If I Mean When (04:21)
4. Rivermen (06:35)
5. Came at a Loss (04:19)
6. Sinking Ship (03:17)
7. Creature (27:45)


Patrick McGowan / Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals
Daniel McGowan / Guitar, Vocals
Joe Dorsey / Keyboards
Jamie Wolff / Bass, Violin, Cello
Dan Monda / Drums, Percussions

The Tea Club |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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