I have a file in my head which I refer to as ”almost there” or ”close but no cigar” where I put bands and artists I necessarily don’t dislike but I might not go head over heels over either. British rockers The Treatment is such a band. I have been following them – sort of – since their debut album This Might Hurt in 2011, excluding their 2014 effort Running With The Dogs, an album that for some reason passed me by. Why I did decide to keep following a band that I wasn’t overly impressed with has to do with two things. One is that I have found some potential in them being a great rock band with every album being better than its predecessor and one is that I get promos, something I’d never ignore. The new album is the second album with their third singer onboard and if this new album goes in the same quality direction as their last ones, this could be a real treat.
The album opens with the leading single ”Rat Race”, an uptempo, riff-happy and sleazy rocker that holds a dirty grit not completely unlike a band like Airbourne, who of course is never shy of showing off their love for AC/DC. The tune is an upbeat and in-your-face good-time rocker and perfect as a first single to show where the band stands today. It’s also really good and will go down like a storm live. ”Take It Or Leave It” is a straight-forward and raunchy rocker with a punchy and even headbang-friendly beat. More Thunder than AC/DC, the tune do throws a bunch of catchy riffing our way complete with a big-time chorus to lift our fists to. I dig this too.
”Lightning In A Bottle” is a raunchy boogie-rocker with a shaky rhythm and some sleazed-up guitars and melodies which brings on a big party-vibe. With a slight funky swagger and a bit of a wink to Aerosmith, the tune throws in a hook-driven refrain that refuses to leave the brain, not that you’d want it to. This is catchy stuff that makes you wanna start your afternoon party early. Good stuff. Like a faster paced AC/DC on steroids, the riff-heavy and raw ”Vampress” does its best to give you a good beating with some striking melodies, obnoxious riffing and a direct and effective chorus. The Treatment wants to cause some harm and they let us know just that with this one. Good one.
”Eyes On You” is a bluesy rocker with a massive groove and a bouncy beat where the mastodon riffage gives the song a ballsy and fat soundscape. Still a hard-rocking piece, I think it’s pretty good although the chorus lacks a stand-out hook to lift it. Thumbs up for the chunky groove but unfortunately it turns out a bit of a filler. More boogie-rock comes our way with ”No Way Home” where Status Quo, ZZ Top and AC/DC goes out for a rumble on a Saturday night. The song brings on an uplifting swing where both the rhythms and the spot-on melodies with a hooky refrain on top makes the tune a crowd-friendly winner. Best song so far.
Released as an ”official audio”, ”Devil In The Detail” shows off some more of the band’s AC/DC influences albeit mixed up with some poppy yet sleazy Hard Rock. Without losing the edge, the band’s Melodic Rock hooks and melodies bring another dimension to the more grit-laden and bluesy Hard Rock. Chugging guitars and a pumping rhythm-section also makes for a good live-belter. Very good. ”Tough Kid” might come off as a bit held-back but the big groove is still there and so are crunchy guitars. There’s a huge pop influence and a let’s-party-touch that brings late 80’s/early 90’s American Arena Rock to mind but the Classic Rock vibes and – again – AC/DC inspired riffs never leaves the band. That being said, the chorus never really takes off. Not bad but still OK.
Taking on a more aggressive punch, the uptempo and fast-tracked ”Hold Fire” is a no-bull, take-no-prisoners Hard Rock blaster right in the vein of Airbourne with lots of grit and edge. Still, no matter how much I dig the high-octane energy of the song, it fails to actually stick with me and it’s one of those pretty cool yet forgettable songs. ”Barman”, on the other side, is brilliant. It’s a jazzed up blues tune with a good-time feel, strong melodies all over and a stompy beat. Chunky rhythms, a great live-feel for the club environment makes for a fun, late-night party vibe. Without taking on a hit-vibe, the chorus still catches on right from hello. Awesome!
”Let’s Make Money” comes right from the pocket of Bon Scott-era AC/DC with its Classic Rock, blues-rhythmic driven Rock ’n’ Roll. It’s a sweaty, down n’ dirty, kick-ass rocker, effectively made for the stage with a powerful drive and a rowdy outlook and a striking main-melody. Without flooring me, this an energetic banger with a chant-along chorus. Good. The album closes with the latest single ”Wrong Way”. Here, the verses is a bit more held-back and builds up for the faster and more balls-out refrain. Here, the band blends some Classic Rock blues-boogie rhythms and crunchy guitars with smoother melodies and a catchy straight-ahead chorus that actually reminds me some of old Gun. It’s a good tune alright but it doesn’t really stick like a single should, in my book.
As there are no ballads on here, it stands clear that The Treatment has gone for a more edgy straight out Rock album made for the stage and maybe festivals in general. It also stands clear that they have never sounded better – yes, this album is a step up from their previous records and is easily their best effort to date. If you have read this far you know that this band isn’t here to reinvent the wheel and create something new. What The Treatment does is taking the stuff they love and give it their own touch – they wear their influences on their sleeves but they do sport their own identity. So, with a couple of fillers too many for the high scores, they surely have bettered their craft and I think their big album might just be around the corner. Well done.