Melbourne (Australia) is the hometown of Teal. I think this band from 'down under' doesn't belong to the 'common' progressive rock bands we mostly review for Background Magazine. However, this EP called Hearth, which can be considered to be alternative rock, is really worth listening to. This Australian quartet consists of drummer Andy Clews, bass player Andrew Quizon, guitarist Mitch Clews and vocalist extraordinaire Joe Surgey.
Teal bring powerful alternative rock with emotional and passionate vocals. At some points, like during the opener Solitaires, the resemblance with Matthew Bellamy (Muse) is obvious, but musically the band is more 'explosive' and catchier with slight ambient touches. In the second composition Don't Wake Up I also hear influences of Bono (U2), but only vocal wise. Other references could be their compatriots of Karnivool and the American band Candlebox. This might give you an indication of the heaviness and the well-considered compositions of Teal. My personal favourite on this way too short EP is Voss, a powerful track in which they constantly alternate tempo and emotion. The guitars provide this song a great mixture of an alternative and post rock atmosphere.
With this EP Teal might have made the right choice; they definitely have drawn the attention of the prog rock public. With only five compositions there's no room for weaker compositions, which means that only top-notch songs made it to Hearth. It's a nice album to listen to and it will mostly appeal to fans of alternative rock. It would be great to see this band play live on stage, because I think that these songs are made to appeal to a wider audience.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?