Sixth studio album for Canadian alternative rock act, featuring all new songs. 12 tracks in all including 'Interzone', 'Angels', 'Apathy' & 'Requiem'. 2001.
Whatever one thinks of the Tea Party's ambitious yet commercial rock, the band deserves credit for not being afraid to come off as pretentious as a sack of Rush records. True to the trio's nature, The Interzone Mantras
--the group's fifth full-length studio disc--is a study in excess. From an insert that folds out into a 16-panel poster of a multi-armed, multi-eyed deity to a song title borrowed from a Russian novel ("The Master and Margarita") to deep-throated spiritual pronouncements and everything-but-the-didgeridoo arrangements, the album never shies away from piling on more sound and more self-importance. That it works more often than not is testament to the band's knack for strong melodies and a compelling blend of riff-o-rama guitars and orchestral atmospherics, as on "Soulbreaking" and the acoustic ballad "White Water Siren." Barrel-chested rockers like "Lullaby" and the white-hot horn-driven opener, "Interzone," add some oomph to the proceedings, though nonfans will find the disc's more dirgelike moments ("Dust to Gold") trying. The album ends as it should, though, with an eight-minute denouement of crunchy guitars, Middle Eastern textures, and swelling strings that build to the decidedly unpretentious mantra, "Love is all we have / Love is all we need." --Shawn Conner