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Album Review: Health by Alpha Male Tea Party

Alpha Male Tea Party release their third album, Health, on 23rd June via Big Scary Monsters. The new album sees the band hone their loud instrumental sound, pushing themselves onto the next level. Commenting on the new material, the trio say: “We spent a while working out how we wanted to make it happen and decided to be a proper band this time, so we booked out a residential studio in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside for a week to create our newest Ugly Baby. We are over the moon with how the album came out. It’s probably the first time we’ve truly got what’s in our heads properly on to record.”

Following on from 2014’s critically acclaimed second full length, Droids, having spent the best part of three years touring both the UK and Europe as well as appearances at ArcTanGent, Handmade and Strangeforms Festivals, their latest offering was recorded at Woodworm Studios in Oxfordshire and produced by band member Tom Peters (The Fall, Big Country, Cleft, Falls, Axes and more).

While Health picks up from where Droids left off, it sees the band further exploring their multi-layered and effect-strewn sound. It retains that unique Alpha Male Tea Party sound, delivering up a heavy and loud take on mathy instrumental rock, while also sounding that little more grown up and mature.

Straight off from the opening notes of ‘Have You Ever Seen Milk?’ you get the feeling that Health is going to be something special. Intricate guitars interchange with big riffs, all held together by a pummelling and enthralling rhythm section. The thunderous riffs towards the end of the track are a highlight. From here on in Health continues to delight and enthral. The riffs of ‘Ballerina’ send shivers down the spine before ‘The Museum of Walking’ suckers you in with its soaring and progressive math rock tones.

There’s nothing that comes close to being average here. Everything comes together in a beguiling blend of pummelling riffs and beats. ‘Nobody Had The Heart To Tell Him He Was On Fire’ goes the extra mile by combining the ferocious and intricate riffs with an emotive sense that carries through to the stunning and exuberant ‘Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am?’.

‘Carpe Diem’ is an almost perfect slice of math rock, fuck it, we’ll just say it – it might just be one of the best tracks you hear this year. There’s riffs aplenty in ‘Some Soldiers’ and ‘I Still Live At Home’ with the latter leaving an awestricken impression, but it’s in final track ‘No More’ that Alpha Male Tea Party hammer home just how special Health is. It sees the band at their most progressive and expansive, while the heavier riffs deliver guts and power with aplomb it’s when the track slows that it becomes emotional. The guitars take a poignant tone and there’s the appearance of impassioned vocals to bring the album to a triumphant close.

AD Rating 9.5/10

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2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Alt Dialogue’s 2017 Mid Year Review – Alt Dialogue
  2. Playlist: Alpha Male Tea Party discuss their favourite tracks – Alt Dialogue

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