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High Tea

by The Britannicas

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Yeah how things look and how they sound and how to change what's allowed the first words that were spoken in some time out on a limb at the top of the tree why didn't you pick me you held back knowing everything Something's got a hold on me yeah something's got a hold on me What are you goin' to do with me i wouldn't take back anything and the less you say the clearer things become at the surface at the boiling point the listener didn't disappoint and i wouldn't take back anything Something's got a hold on me yeah something's got a hold on me You sat right down to cross your legs and said don't lose track of the simple things yeah simple things What are you goin' to do with me i wouldn't take back anything and the less you say the clearer things become out on a limb at the top of the tree why didn't you pick me you held back knowing everything Something's got a hold on me yeah something's got a hold on me got a hold on me
I see a ship coming 'round the bend And wind curls water like it's heaven sent Shouldn't we be talking about this Sun shines bright and the kids get noisy The world seems better when beer starts floating Should have been talking about this I know, winter was long and cold Shouldn't we aim for Summer We should be laughing about it Summer Shouldn't we give it a go Armpits are moist and our trousers burning A fearless dive into an ocean then learning Shouldn't you have warned me about this Hot air cold water someone to love All we know is that nothing lasts forever Shouldn't we keep quiet about it We know seasons they come and go But all we ever live for is Summer We should be happy about it Summer Nothing can keep us away Summer
Let’s put on our sneakers and go out and play kick the ball so hard ‘cos it’s saturday you can dress as king and I’ll be your queen hold that thought cos’ I haven’t thought of mine hey baby we got plenty of time Crank up the volume to shake their bones punch out the lights ‘cos there’s nobody home let’s keep on running for no reason at all hold that thought cos’ I haven’t thought of mine But now nothing could be better if I could write this letter back to 1965 if you were born and I was still alive in my dreams we’d build a ship and make it built to last but it’s too late the moment passed We’re seventeen and we’re here to stay shout from the roof just to hide away we need more red paint for this town hold that thought cos’ I haven’t thought of mine Because nothing could be better if sweet gum lasts forever if a memory never cries to dry away in the wink of an eye in this old dusty place the spring sings to my heart I was too late the moment passed
Come On Boys 03:08
Come on boys you didn’t move fast enough you gotta catch up with yesterday before you even think about it Come on boys sleep all your worries off and take things seriously just don’t act in panic You don’t have to sleep and pretend that the world is in order just keep up the spirit and leave all the bad stuff behind you Come on boys didn’t mean to give you a curse just follow the right line as if nothing’s happened Come on boys reason is bigger than faith clear up your faces remember that nothing’s changed You don’t have to feel it’s accomplished until everything’s conquered don’t ever be frightened future is lighter Your mothers would hold you and take you school too anyone who cried would have been cared for if that’s what you feared for Come on girls get ready for action you might even touch them Come on girls allow them to hold you but don’t let them rule you
Bleed between the lines let go of everything don’t dance the dance the way that we’ve been taught Live a life that feeds all of your dreams happiness you’ll find can’t be bought Spent a lot of time working with my hands thinking what I build would stay strong Live a life that feeds all of your dreams hold me by the hand this can’t be wrong To anyone who’s watching this may appear shocking at times you need a break from the fall but there’s a certain someone who understands like no one it’s time to shake the shadow off the wall
I pick you up from the airport today I can’t believe the day has come I fiddle around with my hair and my clothes I’m feeling like I’m 21 I feel my heart skip out of time face after face but then my god I know that smile Tell me the things you think of when you’re so far away all of the things you dream of when your night is my day When you look at me that way I pull back the curtains let’s make the tea go cold Say your holidays are forever if you stay then even better say you want to waste the morning it could be nice with a shag and a another tea Good morning what should we do today I put on the kettle I open the curtains to a glorious day When you look at me that way I pull back the curtains let’s make the tea go cold Say your holidays are forever if you stay then even better say you want to waste the morning it could be nice with a shag and a another tea I want you all the time I dropped you off at the airport today I can’t believe the day has come I fumble around with my words and your bags I’m feeling pretty down and dumb I feel my heart skip out of time tear after tear then my god you’re gone Say your holidays are forever if you stay then even better say you want to waste the morning each and every day I want you all the time
Sign Out 03:00
Sign out - you’ve got a head full Sign out - you’ve got a head full you’ve got a head full brain is glowing you are sleepless thoughts are slowing abusive language and strained relations Sign out - you’ve got a head full Sign out - you’ve got a head full you’ve got a head full repair your senses manage your temper assemble your spare time and fill your life up then ask yourself are you happy And I don’t know and I don’t know what to do Sign out - you’ve got a head full Sign out - you’ve got a head full you’ve got a head full with different standpoints lotsa anger cover your outbursts remember your good sides and bring them back now’s the time
Too Far Gone 03:16
If I returned to France would I remember what to say and would you let me in and what you pretend that it was nothing So I never returned your calls i wrote you letters that said nothing at all i didn't know how to feel i didn't know what was real Has it been too long too far gone if I did you wrong what would you say would you turn away has your heart moved on Was it all about the flesh when you hear my name do you detest or do you blush and smile like a taste of cheap old wine Maybe that day will come we might be wiser but not so young will I know how to feel will I know if it was real Has it been too long too far gone if I did you wrong what would you say would you turn away has your heart moved on
Before you point a finger be sure your hands are clean I’m tryin’ to find a way to keep her here with me More like than different mirror mirror you’ll see another side of me another side of you Off to Madrid all on on my own kill the ghost with my bare hands, all on my own I know just what you need better than you know rumor has it I didn’t say that it was your fault I was just blaming you from the bottom of my broken heart I was just blaming you More like than different, mirror mirror you’ll see another side of me another side of you
I work at the post office every morning I get up at 7.10 a slice and half of toast and butter I leave for work and I start to dream On the way to the bus I think about us then I realize I’m standing in the middle of the road I work at the post office thank you sir I’m gonna lick my way to the top It’s afternoon tea at 3:15 I light a fag and I start to dream About the sound of the birds at times when I heard then I realize it was nearly 20 years ago This pin-striped life keeps spinning ‘round around in circles with a square old peg like me who just don’t fit without you who must keep dreaming of you I work at the post office I catch the bus back to nowhere at 5.38 I work at the post office I live at the post office And I start to dream that I’ll receive your telegram
I Got You 03:15
When the world gets me down and I can’t seem to find my way around your love is standing by you’ll always know what I’m feelin’ deep inside Love is what I do just as long as you’ve got me and baby I got you When the world gets you down and you can’t seem to find your way around my love is standing by and I’ll be there if you need me at your side To some love comes and it goes but we got a love that’s so strong it’s like a love nobody knows
Oh please baby don't drink tonight i’m tired of this circus and I don’t want to fight your sister’s on the phone with a broken heart the world is a mess, I don’t know where to start It's a hard thing being optimistic in a world so cruel waiting to grow up and finish school and do what you wanna do and go where you wanna go Just be patient and the tide will turn remember your childhood as a lesson learned teach your children to be proud and sound respect yourself keep your feet on the ground It's a hard thing predicting our future when we're cool and young then remember what we did that was wrong going through therapy deciding who's advice you should take will Someone cover your fall? It's a hard thing being optimistic in a world so cruel waiting to grow up and finish school and do what you wanna do and go where you wanna go Will someone cover your fall
Inside my jacket pocket there’s a hole and everything falls through it and it all ends up lyin’ on the ground I guess it doesn’t matter, in the end it’s just stuff that scatters it just all ends up lyin’ on the ground Gettin’ next to nothin’ done too early to think too early to tell too early to tell Don’t get me wrong don’t get kicked around like some old rodeo clown there’s nothin’ you could do to ever bring me down you got the parachute I got the crash and the boot it just all ends up lyin’ on the ground lyin’ on the ground yeah lyin’ on the ground Gettin’ next to nothin’ done really nowhere left to run to sleep is the only freedom we know Gettin’ next to nothin’ done too early to think too early to tell too early to tell


Review #11

What do you get when three talented singer/songwriters from three different countries pool their talents and produce a long-distance record? Well, you get…this. “This,” of course, is the latest long-player from Herb Eimerman (USA), Joe Algeri (Australia), and Magnus Karlsson (Sweden), collectively known as the Britannicas. High Tea is a consistently tuneful collection with major echoes of the Byrds littered throughout the proceedings. Nothing earth-shattering or game changing, but overall it’s a very pleasant listen from beginning to end. Eimerman’s “Got a Hold on Me” is tops, Karlsson’s tunes are generally the more indie-pop sounding, while Algeri’s compositions are often a bit quirky, both musically and lyrically. Oh, and Algeri earns bonus points for titling a song “A Shag and a Cup O’Tea” and writing a lyric about working at the post office that promises, “I’m gonna lick my way to the top.” Grade: B
- John Borack


Review #10

It’s thanks to the wonders of modern technology that an act such as the Britannicas could even exist: the members are scattered across the globe (USA, Sweden, Australia). But the infectious, highly melodic result of their internet-based collaboration belies that fact. Creamy vocal harmonies, beefy bass lines and chiming electric guitars are the order of the day. The music is richly textured, not unlike a slightly more jangly (and occasionally, slightly less rocking) Smithereens. For people who believe that the best kind of music came out of A Hard Days’ Night, The Britannicas’ High Tea will be manna from heaven.
- Bill Kopp


Review #9

Let’s start with the obvious. Hail The Britannicas, an international supergroup of sorts whose roster hails from Chicago, Sweden and Australia, and whose mantra is based on the sound of unabashed power pop and retro references that make that style seem so universal. Bassist/vocalist Herb Eimerman’s early association with the Shoes and guitarist/vocalist Joe Algeri’s solo efforts in the Land Down Under imbue this trio with high expectations, standards they’ve managed to live up to even despite logistics that find them living several continents apart. High Tea follows up where the band’s initial outing ended, all bright, effervescent melodies served up in sunny pop tradition. Still, labels are often meaningless when it comes to the music itself. After all, what is power pop in fact if not a certain reverence towards timeless rock tradition? Indeed, while all three members share in the songwriting, Del Shannon’s “I Got You” bears a true testament to one of their more obvious influences. Mostly though, High Tea provides the kind of boundless joy and unencumbered enthusiasm that any radio-ready pop was once bound to offer in the aftermath of the Beatles prior to the dawning of overwrought prog. Cheery and contagious, this is music marked by superb sounds only, all well worth experiencing.
- Lee Zimmerman


Review #8

With guitars a-jangling and harmonies a-ringing The Britannicas keep one foot in the power poppy now and one in the ‘60s summer of love, concocting a hyper-melodic collection of irresistible pop songs that bop and sway and shimmy their way into your head and hearts instantly.

Comprising American bassist Herb Eimerman, Australian guitarist and singer Joe Algeri and Swedish guitarist and drummer Magnus Karlsson and Stefan Johansson, the Britannicas write and assemble their music with a lot of back and forth emails and Skypeing, but you wouldn’t know it as this – their second album – sounds as cohesive as any band you could name.

There’s touches of Beatledom here and there, especially in the melodies and some of the simpler rhythms (More Like Than Different, I Work At The Post Office, Too Far Gone), a Byrdsy jangle with a pinch of country pop (Talkin’ Bout Summer), and even a sneer and a ragged riff from the Oasis school (The Moment Passed).

A Shag And A Cup Of Tea is Austin Powers-rific, and takes the wilfully-retro theme of the project to it’s logical, quirky zenith with a knowing wink and a cheeky grin.
- Shane Pinnegar


Review #7

And here’s another recent pop treasure. Jam Records released the new The Britannicas album High Tea a few weeks ago. The Britannicas is a really international pop group. The band members are Joe Algeri from Australia, Herb Eimerman from USA and Magnus Karlsson from Sweden. Plus special guest Stefan Johansson from Sweden. These days you can live in different continents and still create magnificent pop music together. All three tunesmiths have written four originals and on top of that you get a Del Shannon cover I Got You. There’s a a lot of sweet pop jangle, a bit of psychedelic west coast pop of the sixties, some Kinks-y rockers. Well just all kinds of fabulous melodic pop music. You can listen to the whole thing on their bandcamp page. I selected Karlsson’s Talkin’ ’bout Summer below, because it’s just insanely hot in Finland right now (Maybe not by Australia’s standards).
- Vesa


Review #6

Good things are only to be expected when the names Herb Eimerman, Magnus Karlsson, Joe Algeri, and Stefan Johansson appear on record because these guys have been key players on the independent pop circuit for a couple of decades now. But they didn’t connect as a whole until 2010, which was when they pooled their talents, formed a band and cut a self-titled album, that not surprisingly, garnered screamingly superb reviews from every quarter imaginable.

The band’s second album, High Tea (JAM Recordings), proposes the same seasonings embedded in The Britannicas, meaning the guitars ring with glee, the harmonies are absolutely heartstopping, and the melodies are invigorating and inventive. Delivering their synchronized-sculpted songs with a punchy purpose, the band inhabits a plane occupied by the likes of the Searchers, the Byrds, and Dave Edmunds. A nifty mash-up of folk rock, country rock, power pop, and even some rockabilly grooves, carpets the music. Time-traveling for inspiration, yet adding a new edge to the game, the Britannicas wield a sound that will never go out of style.

Not a single misstep is heard on High Tea, resulting in an album that requires no shuffling on the fancy gadgets of today. From the hard rocking crook of “The Moment Passed” to sweetly-salted songs such as “Talkin’ Bout Summer” and “Lyin’ On The Ground” to the strong and sturdy pop rock mechanisms of “Got A Hold On Me,” the album flows and flourishes with appealing activity. A sparkling cover of Del Shannon’s “I Got You” is also included on High Tea, while “I Work At The Post Office,” “Bleed Between The Lines,” “Come On Boys,” and “A Shag And A Cup O’ Tea” sail in as further examples of the band’s ability to parent songs devised of width, depth, and lip-smacking hooks and arrangements.

Free of excess, High Tea gets right down to the nitty gritty. These are the sort of songs you’ll remember upon first listen and will still be listening to years later. If there’s one band that has a handle on tweaking traditional pop rock to modern effects, it’s the Britannicas, and High Tea is a terrific testimony to their expertise.
- Beverly Paterson


Review #5

I am pleased to report that there is no sophomore slump for the quartet of Herb Eimerman, Magnus Karlsson, Joe Algeri and Stefan Johansson (all excellent pop musicians in their own right)! Rickenbacker 12-string guitars ring and chime throughout the disc’s thirteen tracks. Standout jangly tracks include “Got A Hold On Me,” “More Like Than Different,” “Sign Out,” “Talkin’ Bout Summer,” “Too Far Gone,” “A Shag And A Cup Of Tea” and “Lyin’ On The Ground.” High Tea is a long-distance collaboration by the Britannicas – much like their kindred spirits in Starbyrd. Without a doubt, this is some of the finest pseudo-60s pop music to be released in several years.


Review #4

The power pop trio, comprised of Herb Eimerman (USA), Magnus Karlsson (Sweden), and Joe Algeri (Australia) are back! “Got A Hold On Me” starts our jangley Byrds-Beatles power pop goodness, written by Eimerman. Karlsson’s “Talkin’ ’bout Summer” is reminiscent of Chris Stamey till it gets to the harmony-filled chorus and Algeri’s hard guitar fuzz dresses up “The Moment Passed.” The psychedelic “Bleed Between The Lines” has a trippy retro Rickenbacker rhythm line. Unlike the debut, the tracks don’t feel forced into any Merseybeat template, and it feels like more of a group effort doing what they like and sounding natural at it.

Ironically none of the band members are British, although late ’60s rock is clearly the guiding influence. “A Shag and A Cup O’ Tea” could’ve been a real funny novelty song, but instead is a whimsical come-on. Each band member brings unique qualities for their respective songs, they work well on Kinks inspired “I Work At The Post Office” and Mod flavored gem “More Like Than Different.” The echoing production of “Will Someone Cover Your Fall” chugs along, then add to this an excellent cover of Del Shannon’s “I Got You,” and there are plenty of gems here to place this in the highly recommended category. Get it now!


Review #3

Joe Algeri has formed a live outfit and is more prominent on local stages than he has been for many years, and to celebrate he has retreated to the studio to make the sophomore album with his intercontinental pop project The Britannicas. Joining the original trio on High Tea is another of Algeri’s Swedish friends, Stefan Johansson, on drums.

Nerk Twins’ Herb Eimerman is said to be the soul of the band, but he is also a man who is studiously versed in the history of power pop. His opening salvo, Got A Hold On Me, could be an instant classic as it captures everything that is good about the genre from The Raspberries to Matthew Sweet and all that comes in between.

Algeri is the team captain and also the more experimental mind of the collective. The Moment Passed moves from abrasive guitars to toned down sweetness and hits some other touchstones on the way to keep the listener honest. To ensure that his pop prowess can’t be questioned, Algeri effortlessly offers up I Work At The Post Office to take home the chocolates. Karlsson rounds out the group as the resident heartbreaker with his softer, yet no less melodic, tunes like Sign Out.

High Tea is another step forward for The Britannicas who benefit greatly from the three different voices and personalities without having to sacrifice talent. On High Tea, the whole is certainly greater than the sum of its parts.


Review #2

High Tea, the title of the latest effort from The Britannicas, has an appropriate regal significance but the CD could have just as easily been named Iced Tea. Not only because of its July release date, but also because these 13 songs sport breezy power pop arrangements. The international trio, comprised of American Herb Eimerman, Swede Magnus Karlsson, and Australian Joe Algeri, continues to draw inspiration from original British Invasion bands as well as American acts like The Beach Boys and The Byrds.

Karlsson’s catchy “Talkin’ ’Bout Summer” celebrates a season when romances are fun though often temporary, and Algeri serves up memories of teenage action from 1965 amidst the hard-edged pop of “The Moment Passed.” The members of The Britannicas share similar traits when it comes to songwriting, but each has his own style and quirks. Algeri, who also performs as The JAC, tends toward offbeat material like the Kinks-inspired “I Work At The Post Office,” while Eimerman favors love songs with enigmatic lyrics. His “Bleed Between The Lines” sounds like it could have been a hit single in 1965. On his catchy “Come On Boys,” Karlsson incorporates church choir harmonies and acoustic guitar as he advises young adults on how to navigate relationships and a troubling world.

High Tea also includes “I Got You,” a well-executed Del Shannon cover that The Britannicas previously contributed to a tribute album to the late American singer. Other highlights include Eimerman’s jangling love song, “Got A Hold On Me” and Algeri’s simultaneously ribald and touchingly romantic “A Shag And A Cup O’ Tea.”


Review #1

I came to the party a little late, last year I’d loved a cover of Del Shannon’s “I Got You” by a band I assumed was another young member of the power pop brigade the Britanicas, they sounded like a cross between the Apples In Stereo and Badfinger. I wrote about the song and my Facebook friend Herb Eimerman told me he was the bassist for the band and pointed me in the direction of their 2010 eponymous debut album.

Suitably impressed, I patiently awaited the sophomore effort or a tour or something. And what I got was the delightfully titled High Tea though I won’t be getting the tour I don’t think. The Britannicas are the Dr. Luke of rock, they build songs through file sharing, Herb in the US, singer Joe Algeri in Australia, and guitarist Magnus Karlsson and drummer Stefan Johansson from Sweden. Obviously, the question that arises immediately is, whither band chemistry? Listening to the mix of Byrdsy zoom lens and country guitar break on Karlsson’s “Will Someone Cover Your Fall”, this is no Sweetheart nascent country rock but still some sort of group dynamic rethinking and the chemistry… well, ask yourself this, if I hadn’t told you the band weren’t in the same room, would you think they were born in the same studio and raised in captivity?

“More Like Than Different” and first single “Got A Hold On Me”, two Eimerman originals, lead the way: Producer Algeri is too quirky with his own material, they take a coupla spins to kick into high gear, but Herb is ear candy, sweet but not sugary melodic. Algeri is a rougher rocker, and also has a quirky sense of tempo, on “The Moment Passed” he zooms forward before slowly down and some electric guitar is thrown in and then it winds slow and emerges forward again. It is vertiginous and while it is translating time by definition, it is also strangely druggy. To use the classic terms, Joe is playing Lennon to Herb’s McCartney and Karlsson’s Harrison. The trio play off each other’s expectations, and their own (I could have sworn “Bleed Between The Lines” was Algeri) , they leave you wondering what is coming next and it is always worth the wait.

The twelve tracks on the album, three remixed from Three Sided Single, the Del Shannon cover, the first single, and seven brand spanking new tracks are all worth your while though I do have one problem with the band: I find their lyric a little generic. Storytellers yes, and good ones, but they don’t always match the intensity of the music. The just about perfect “A Shag And A Cup Of Tea” (except for the song title, of course) with a lovely break, tells a good story and well, it moves forward, and it has the whining sense of loss. A nice axiom would have made it a masterpiece.

Still, this is a superb better living through science for anybody married to high melodic pop songs. Dr. Luke should be so lucky.

Grade: A-


What difficult second album? The various band members of the Britannicas hit that hump years ago with their previous projects, like a good wine, they’re just getting better.

The Britannicas are Herb Eimerman (solo, Nerk Twins - USA), Magnus Karlsson (happydeadmen, the Charade - SWEDEN) and Joe Algeri (Jack & the Beanstalk, the JAC – AUSTRALIA). The lads are separated by thousands of miles of ocean but they use modern technology to make old-school pop music.

The 2010 self-titled album drew critical acclaim and just plain amazement within the indie and power-pop scenes around the world; how can something supposedly so disjointed sound so cohesive and melodic?

Their secret is still more instinctive feel rather than science; Herb is the bottom, the soul and the harmony of the band, Magnus is the twee and the twang in the middle, and Joe brings the soft and hard edges to the mix and completes this crazy sonic experiment. This time around they are also joined by another talented Swede on drums, Stefan Johansson (the Lemon Clocks, Yesterday Girl Records).

So can we expect more of the same on the second long-player? No, High Tea is better – more organic, more melodic, sweeter, brighter, louder – built on a palette of amazing guitar tones and rich vocal harmonies.

High Tea opens with the band’s recent, effervescent Got A Hold On Me single. In addition we get all the tracks from the 3 Sided Single, remixed and remastered. All up there are 12 originals plus their wondrous cover of Del Shannon’s I Got You from the recent tribute compilation.

Official release is slated for 11 July worldwide and is available as a download and a limited edition CD pressing on JAM records.



released July 11, 2014


HERB EIMERMAN (USA) - vocals, bass
MAGNUS KARLSSON (SWEDEN) - vocal, guitar
JOE ALGERI (AUSTRALIA) - vocals, guitar, keys
With special guest:

Recorded in respective home studios around the world. Mixed and produced by Joe Algeri.

Mastering by George Luif from Tranquility One Studios.
Design and layout by Dimitri Dimitriadis.
Original art concepts by Erika Algeri.


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Egomaniac Music Perth, Australia

Egomaniac Music is the home for Joe Algeri and related musical interests. Joe is a songwriter and producer from Perth, Western Australia now known as the JAC. He is also a member of The Jangle Band, The Outryders (AUST) and the Britannicas (AUST/SWE/USA). ... more

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