Let me put out some words on this band that do differ from others that have been written so far, when addressing their latest release “Rabbit”. Yet I’ll also grant The Tea Club some other characteristics that I’ve already seen exposed by other reviewers.
I will not be pretentious to believe that my view upon this album is more accurate than others, as I’ve read some pretty extensive reviews, but still my experience listening to the sophomore album of this New Jersey band has brought to mind some particularities that, apparently, did not occur to other fellow reviewers online.
While the tag of crossover progressive rock is dead on, as the band brings the indie and alternative ambiances to a much more adventurous and progressive path, and while also agreeing on some Oceansize, Radiohead and The Pineapple Thief reminiscences (on oppose to Gazpacho, which I don’t find connections at all) , there is much more to this band than what meets the ear at first listens. And the fact is that, the more you listen to the album, the more you find different connections and new points of interest in the experimental sounds of Rabbit. Curious thing is that, despite an obvious complexity and even challenging construction of the tracks, many times reminding (in architecture, not in sound) The Mars Volta, still an odd feeling of straight forward musicality can also be sip, turning the band a possible target for fans of other musical grounds and not only the progheads.
But, while all those symptoms and marks flowingly occurred to me throughout several listens, there were some that I immediately thought of at first listen, namely the fact that, especially in the first half of the album, the vocals style is tremendously reminiscent of that of late Jeff Buckley (especially his vocal work on post-death release Sketches for my Sweetheart the drunk), often making the album sound like if that excellent artist would have reincarnated to try some proggier experimentations, helped by an heavier sibling of Australian band The Grand Silent System. The other characteristic that hooked on in my reviewer imaginary was that of many guitar connections to Landberk. Playing in a heavier tone and faster pace, but still extremely similar to many guitar passages that can be heard on the second half of that Swedish band, namely in One Man tell’s another and Indian Summer. And it was this unthought-of and improbable mix that completely captivated me at first listen, drawing me to keep exploring the album and start unveiling all the other tendencies and reminiscences that were more obvious to other people. In a way, this album offered me a backwards view upon it, when compared to the way I usually analyze the albums. I started by the more in-depth view and only then I surfaced to what has been obvious to so much.Anyway, what The Tea Club has offered us with Rabbit, is indeed a great album of very modern progressive rock. A band that has care for details and especially for the crafted construction of the tracks, even if put in a somehow heavy and well paced sonic experience. This is an album that should be listened loudly and with attention, for it is set to ensure the listener with power, intricacy and personality. Highly recommended.