If you like big fat choruses, and a hybrid of styles that this band are well known for, then Treat should have something for you.
Written by: gdmonline
SERIAL: FRCD 881
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Sweden
LINEUP: Robert Ernlund – vocals * Anders Wikstrom – guitars, backing vocals * Patrick Appelgren – keyboards, guitars, backing vocals * Pontus Egberg – bass, backing vocals * Jamie Borger – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Progenitors * 02 Always Have, Always Will * 03 Best Of Enemies * 04 Rose Of Jericho * 05 Heartmath City * 06 Creeps * 07 Build The Love * 08 Man Overboard * 09 Riptide * 10 Tomorrow Never Comes * 11 All Bets Are Off * 12 Undefeated * 13 Tomorrow Never Comes (acoustic Version)
WEBLINKS: FB Page
This is our second article on Treat this year, following on from an overdue piece we wrote about ‘Organized Crime’ a few months back. It’s like this band have had a second life since their 2006 reunion, after struggling to make inroads during their mid-late 80’s era despite a clutch of very good albums in the bank. The band have consolidated their catalogue with recent releases including ‘Coup De Grace’ (2010) and ‘Ghost Of Graceland’ (2016). We aired the announcement of this album some months back, and were pleased to report the band sounded better than ever. So let’s cut to the chase and check it out.
So, being the slack bastard that I am (as in being untimely and late), we get to this a month after its release. If you like big fat choruses, and a hybrid of styles that this band are well known for, then Treat should have something for you. One has to ask themselves if there something in the Treat songwriting process that veers toward unusual song-titles and themes? Like opener ‘Progenitors’ for instance. It sounds like an episode from the TV show ‘Ancient Aliens’. Personally, I don’t mind, but the cerebrally challenged surely won’t get it.
‘Always Have, Always Will’ is typical of the Treat method, with infectious vocal choruses, interesting arrangements and sonic guitar work. In this case, Wikstrom throwing in some wah-effects for good measure. ‘Best Of Enemies’ adds a layer of intensity whilst keeping all the melodic elements in place
‘Rose Of Jericho’ (great name for a song, better name for a racehorse) is one of two singles from the album. Question: do they actually still release singles these days? I think this is marginally stronger than the other single, ‘Build For Love’ (video below). It has some unusual musical textures which makes it less cookie-cutter in design.
Heartmath City’ (another unusual title, Doctor Who maybe?) gets my vote for song of the album. The chorus is a winner. ‘Creeps’ was less impacting, and again you have to ask what is going on in the lyrics department? ‘Build For Love’ is a song of two parts; lesser verses backed by an engaging chorus. Saved by the bell, however, why is Ernlund singing about The Matrix on this tune? Check out the lyrics.
For the next pairing, Treat go all maritime on us, with ‘Man Overboard’ and ‘Riptide’. The pair definitely are kept well and truly above the surface, no life jackets required. Both contain cool synth solos, with the latter track veering toward a slightly modern direction though quite compelling to listen to I’ll admit.
Treat’s first ballad ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’ appears way down the track listing at #10 which is a bit odd. Andrew McNeice at melodicrock.com made mention of the unusual track order in his recent review; I guess this could be one example where the flow isn’t quite right. Back to the song, it is rather good, it would rank in my top 3 selections on the album.
We’re down to the finish line with the last pairing of ‘All Bets Are Off’ and ‘Undefeated’. This brings into account the sporting analogy. Boxing maybe, or how about horse racing (which is my other professional interest)? What is certain, Treat have covered all the bases with the lyrical ad musical aptitude.
All in all, a solid listen, and an album that deserves a few play-throughs to absorb it all. Reflecting on where this album sits in the scheme of things. It’s fair to say that ‘Coup De Grace’ remains one of Treat’s best albums ever, so to compare ‘Tunguska’ favourably to that is a hard ask. I’ll also go out on a limb to say this album sidles up quite nicely to ‘Ghost Of Graceland’, though this one combines different eras into the recipe, more so than GOG. Enjoy picking the eyes out of this one.
Build The Love
Entire Album (Select Tracks)