The Tea Party
Transmission


4.0
excellent

Review

by pizzamachine USER (211 Reviews)
October 16th, 2010 | 20 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Tea Party's Transmission is an achievement in industrial rock, and a lesson in consistency.

The Tea Party is a rather messy band. Their style of hard rock with world music influences (involving Indian and middle-eastern melodies) often results in a clustered sound. Everything is everywhere at once, as middle-eastern instruments and chaotic guitars clash into a confusing soundscape. As such, it makes sense that The Tea Party would create an album to culminate all aspects of their style, into a disorganized but organized frenzy. Transmission essentially showcases the band’s short-lived industrial phase, and is a bit of a departure from their previous world music leanings. The Indian and Arabic scale are still used often, and middle-eastern instruments are still occasionally in play, but the effect is less dominant in comparison to previous albums. The band members are still enticed by the mystical and obscure. In Transmission, this strange obsession rears its full head through the mechanisms of industrial rock.

Transmission is a bit less accessible than expected, but this is acceptable. The band members are finally playing to their abilities, and those abilities often involve a transmission of loud noise. As far as noise goes, ‘Temptation’ plays the cards just right with goofy, abrasive synth work, middle-eastern-inspired strings, mesmerizing guitars, the occasional booming drum loop, and a masterfully enticing, but destructive vocal performance. Before ‘Temptation’ though, ‘Army Ants’ breaks in the album; the song shatters the listener with absurdly aggressive vocals only surpassed by ‘Babylon’. Hook-ridden guitars enter the ears of the listener as the song could be considered a continuation of the ideals of ‘The Bazaar’. ‘Army Ants’, perhaps, is a bit too weak to be considered one of the band’s greats, but is still the perfect song to open the album with. Immediately evident from those first two tracks, (‘Temptation’ and ‘Army Ants’) is that the band is pulling no punches – this is The Tea Party’s most aggressive album.

As well as blatantly aggressive and loud, the album also contains their darkest material. Everything is twisted to be shockingly creepy, and although this could be accidental, the music videos for ‘Temptation’ and ‘Babylon’ make it clear that the band members are completely serious. The lyrics are also quite serious, as they are influenced by the works of a great number of people: Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Yevgeny Zamyatin, and Giovanni Piranesi. The lyrics, though, are so aberrantly outlandish that no background check is necessary to realize that the album’s lyrics swim in obscurity. The eerie ‘Bablyon’, for instance, claims such irrevocably peculiar prose as: “Now that the thrill of the massacre is over, isn’t it sweet as she sucks on your veins”. Understandably, the soundscape of the band shifted into industrial rock to match the strange lyrics (or perhaps vice versa occurred). The mood surrounding the album is dark and sinister, which is somewhat unlike them; there is never a silver lining so that the listener can catch a breath after the suffocating persistence of the gloom.

Transmission is easily The Tea Party’s most consistent album. As opposed to previous albums, where the band would employ world music inconsistently, Transmission sticks with the premise of an industrial rock album. When the middle-eastern element is employed in this album, it is tastefully employed – never flippant or overbearing. Electronics seem to fill the space of a large portion of the album, which could arguably be called the back of the band’s industrial spine. Sampling, loops, and synthesizers are a constant presence in the album, and ‘Babylon’ is the prominent example with drum loops, fake guitar, and other such gizmos. Keyboards are also used to the best of their abilities, and are a constant force of chaos, adding bite to the album. Transmission is entirely experimental, as the band have fully indulged their imagination, seemingly adding every idea that came to their mind at the time. Despite being quite different from previous albums, this is arguably The Tea Party’s best album. The Edges Of Twilight will always remain an essential album, but Transmission is still their most consistent release.

Recommended Songs:
- Temptation
- Psychopomp
- Gyroscope
- Transmission
- Babylon



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4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2010


6098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

kudos for reviewing this.

my favorite The Tea Party record and their best easily.

have a pos.

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2010


7274 Comments


Sounds interesting. Solid review. Pos.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Jethro42
October 16th 2010


12438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I own a physical copy of this album, but I still have to listen to it. Good review, pos.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2010


6098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This band needs more love on Sputnik (sic).

I am in the same situation with a lot of albums, Jethro, it's kind of a bummer.



pizzamachine
October 16th 2010


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@ everyone: thanks!

Irving
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2010


7274 Comments


Same feeling, Jethro and Voivod. Bummer indeed.

Jethro42
October 16th 2010


12438 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha yeah but I never get enough of music, ya know

greg84
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2010


7391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album. Thanks for reviewing it.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

Mikesn
Emeritus
October 16th 2010


3709 Comments


Only Tea Party album I've heard in full, but it's pretty great.

bloc
October 16th 2010


34848 Comments


Wow! Didn't know these guys went through an industrial phase, gonna listen to this.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2010


6098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I never get enough of music

neither does any Sputniker i assume lol

JubJub12
October 16th 2010


24 Comments


Awesome review man. Don't really care for this.

Gyromania
October 16th 2010


15706 Comments


Glad to see that you got around to writing this. Very good review, I enjoyed reading it. Pos'd

scissorlocked
October 17th 2010


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome review pizza,keep it up

it's time for sputnikers to listen to this band

MrElmo
July 2nd 2012


1953 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

BEST ALBUM FROM THEM!

valentinosmoking
August 2nd 2012


15 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great First and Last Industrial Rock Album of The Tea Party.

Snooze00
December 19th 2013


236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I cant seperate there albums I find them all equally great. Im a bit of a fan actually. Shame there disbanded.

InbredJed
December 19th 2013


5883 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great band, great album!

Digging: JJ Cale - Okie

Gyromania
June 23rd 2014


15706 Comments


one of the best albums from the 90s

TheBarber
June 23rd 2014


1963 Comments


bump

Digging: Animal Collective - Centipede Hz



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