This is The Treatment’s fourth album since they started back in 2008 – and with the album comes singer number three. Original singer Matt Jones left the band in 2015 and his replacement Mitchell Emms followed him two years later, after only one album with the band. The new guy on the block’s name is Tom Rampton and it is with him as a frontman the band hopes their big break will come. Speaking of big breaks, despite opening slots for bands such as Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy, Slash, W.A.S.P., Steel Panther and the Kiss/Mötley Crüe combo-tour, it has never shown up. Without sounding like a complete dick, I suspect that what’s missing is the songs that kills. I have given their records my best effort and nothing has ever stuck – and I don’t know one single person that has ever raved about the band either. I don’t think they suck, it’s just that I find them too impersonal and their songs too middle-of-the road. But with new blood in the band, maybe it’s this album that will take the band to the top.
With its pumping rhythm, AC/DC riffing in an upbeat mode, the leading single ”Let’s Get Dirty” open the album – and dirty they get. It’s a gritty, raw powerhouse of a song where Airbourne meets Krokus on drinking binge with lots of hooks and catchy melodies. It’s a stomping jawbreaker, perfect as a the opening song. A really good track that bodes well for the rest of the record. Not only has ”Rising Power” got a rhythm borrowed from the mighty Aussie band, it also shares its title with Angus and the boys. It’s an uptempo, kicking and in-your-face rocker full of piss n’ vinegar and a punky attitude but with a big pop-melody that runs through the whole track – catchy and rough. Good one. ”On The Money” is a rock-boogie that borrows from both ZZ Top and Status Quo and with that said it’s pointless to point out if it swings or not. Well, it does. It’s songs like this that makes me want to check out the band live.
Second single ”Bite Back” is a fat, rhythmic, old-school blues rocker in the vein of the bastard child of AC/DC and Rose Tattoo – rough and raunchy with a steady beat. It’s a decent song with a big live-feel but I doubt it will spawn that much air-play so as a single choice it feels more like a statement than a hope for a hit. Sort of. The slower paced ”Luck Of The Draw” is a bouncy and groovy blues-rocker that brings Bon Scott era AC/DC to mind and I can even feel the smell of perspiration of a small, tight and crowdy rock-club. That said, it’s a pretty good tune albeit somewhat forgettable. Latest single ”Hang Them High” is upbeat, rough and riff-happy with an in-your-face attitude and a good, meaty punch. As much as Airbourne brings along massive AC/DC tendencies, this track sounds more like them than the Australian bunch. But this is an unapologetic borrow and it’s rock and roll and the refrain is really strong so I let it slide. I dig it.
”Scar With Her Name” has a title that makes me suspect it’s ballad time, but I’m wrong. It’s a solid blues-rock belter with a pumping rhythm, ballsy and direct and the Electric era The Cult comes to mind complete with a Highway To Hell era AC/DC refrain that catches on right on the spot. Clearly one of the album’s finest moments. ”King Of The City” is fast, robust, gritty and heavy, very straight-forward Hard Rock belter with an aggressive outlook and a punchy rhythm. It also brings on Heavy Metal influences. I get where they wanna go with it but it only stays with an ”ok” for me. ”Waiting For The Call” comes in a mid pace but don’t enter ballad-mode. It’s steady, raunchy and rough and holds a bluesy swagger, like a late 70’s Whitesnake. That means I should love the tune as I’m totally in love with Whitesnake from that era but this tune never really reaches me – a forgettable tune.
The edgy ”Laying It Down” is a fat, punchy and kicking rocker that has put Airbourne, AC/DC and Rose Tattoo in a blender and just went for it – very headbang-friendly with a bouncy rhythm. A good tune that will work like a charm from the stage. ”The Fighting Song” do come with the AC/DC influence and it do bring on some raunchiness but despite its aggressive title, but this tune is way more pop-laden within its main melody and the sing-along friendly refrain is so catchy you suspect it’s written with radio in mind. While all that might sound calculated, the album actually benefits from its variation so I’ll give it my thumbs up. And while we’re talking pop-rock, here’s closer ”Falling Down”, a swinging ZZ Top meets AC/DC grooved boogie rocker. It’s a groovy thing that’s both raunchy and bouncy but it holds a slicker kind of approach with an immediate refrain – a good way to close the album.
While AC/DC is being mentioned in practically every song here, something that still says that The Treatment’s influences are too obvious and close for comfort which leaves them with said identity issues, the band has also made their best album to date with this one. With this record they have made an effort to break outside the box with some of the more slicker tracks which is good for the dynamics. But what’s more important, the songs themselves are better and they leave a more lasting impression than on their previous albums. Also, in Rampton they have found a powerhouse vocalist with more grit and edge. So, while The Treatment still have some steps to go to reach the bigger scores, this album shows that they’re on their way – they do have the potential to become a killer act in the future!