The Liverpudlian trio Alpha Male Tea Party return with their third album Health, and do not disappoint with their riff-heavy tracks and exciting progressions.
Health fits in well with Alpha Male Tea Party‘s discography in that it doesn’t sound too dissimilar to their previous works, while certainly showcasing the bands growth. With more time taken building up tracks to crescendos and sporadic finales, Health is definitely a ‘grower’, partly due to its softer rock elements that blossom into harder, more attacking riffs to give the song their sweet but hard rock topping, like rock-candy. Tracks like “Ballerina” have the faster pace and unexpected timings I’m used to hearing; said song definitely stands out after the slow intro song.
My favourite track would be “I Still Live at Home”. Besides its bizarre and sinister music video, the song really has the elements I enjoy from AMTP‘s first record (AMTP), making for a hard rock track with light tones to take the edge off and create a proggy vibe with sound progressions. The selection of tones and effects is never amiss in an Alpha Male Tea Party jam, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate the bright tones; they make listening to the album in the sun a very ’round’ experience.
There were times during Health where I felt like verses needed to move on and maybe could do with some shortening, but that is made up for by the quite eloquent transitions and more interesting variations of the same riff. While I will commend the album itself for its balance in variety and track selection, certain tracks just don’t carry their weight as well as others and unfortunately feel uninspired. My biggest criticism is the overuse of slow transitions and the tension building that I found didn’t quite deliver the desired blow and came cross too soft or just underwhelming.
With an increase in the amount, and general popularity, of instrumental rock and metal in the last decade, it takes alot to be a remembered name in the scene, and being a UK outfit makes it difficult for Alpha Male Tea Party (given how many of their compatriots are already renowned in the scene), but their appeal is strong and I see them as a great ‘go-to’ for more casual rock listeners; fans of technical progressive bands may find themselves longing for something a little ‘heavier’, however.
Health is of a much calmer pace for Alpha Male Tea Party, and although I did enjoy this more classic approach to prog/hard-rock, I personally would like to see a return to their more rugged tracks and mathcore style. If you are waiting for the more manic and aggressive side to the album, I would recommend jumping to the latter half. All in all, Health is a decent listen if you’re looking for less djent and more casual rock.
Notable Tracks: “Ballerina”; “Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am”; “I Still Live at Home”
FFO: Chon,Battles, Poly-Math