Steamin’ Hot Cuppa opens with a playful beginning of upbeat light-rock that is alive and illuminated. The calypso guitar and echoed keyboard style frames the first song that reminds one of a shimmery, boulevard beach day.
Into the second song, “Dance Of The Reindeer,” we switch to an emo-guitar intro that makes way for a subdued breakdown mid-song. Then the band segues into jazz riff quickness and alternative monotone vocals that marry nicely with a 3 note guitar bit.
Sleigh bells are the recurring anchor throughout this 6-minute song. Towards the end of the song we feel a jerky yet cohesive sound; If a song can be personified and described as lanky, this one is. The notes contributed by a xylophone-like piano sound are front and center to a backdrop of quick sticks, and patient, satisfying interchanging guitar parts.
A tasteful chorus outro ties this long song into a sturdy knot before sending the sealed package down a burbling brook of drum stick sounds and guitar licks.
The song “Things Do Move” keeps up a neat bell-piano sound with a chorus voice intro, slap drums and a busy snare and high-hat. The driving bass is the linchpin in a happy, hop along tune that allows the song to turn smoothly without restricting the high-note qualities of the album. A three piece outro send us off with a blissful floating mind.
All in all, a nice album that gives us only a taste of what Joko Tea can do.
- Talula Schlegel