Tea Party – Splendor Solis
I started university in Windsor in 1993, and it seemed like everyone from there wanted to claim they knew these guys. Maybe they did, I dunno. But there was a lot of excitement about their hometown boys. Me, I never did get the first release, but I did buy this one and I’ve always loved every inch of it.
There’s a huge sound here, like it’s all being played perfectly in a big cave in, I dunno, Morocco or something. Whatever, it’s just so satisfying. And the tunes tell tales, smartly written, poetry really, and the music adroitly matches each. Sure, they have their tricks, those things they do that make them sound like only they can sound – Jeff Martin’s yelp, those drum fills, the song structures themselves, often enough… More than a few people said they had their Zeppelin moments in those Eastern-sounding riffs… But then they throw a curveball at you, like the drenched blues of Sun Going Down. Damn it all to hell, I love that tune.
Anyway, the hits here were huge, and the other tracks shoulda been. Not one fault on this record. Not a damn one.
Here’s all you need to know:
The River * Midsummer Day * A Certain Slant of Light * Winter Solstice * Save Me * Sun Going Down * In This Time * Dreams Of Reason * Raven Skies * Haze On The Hills * The Majestic Song.
Every time I play this, it take me back to the halls of residence, first year university. Everyone around me drunk, on the make, and listening to this album. Heady times… This band went on to do many other, very interesting things. But this is the record to which I always return.
The Splendor Solis is an alchemical text, sure, but this album has an alchemy all its own. If you don’t have this, go get you some immediately.