THE TREAT – Phonography

THE TREAT - Phonography
  • 4.5/10
    THE TREAT - Phonography - 4.5/10


Release date: June 1, 2008

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The Treat are from Oxford, UK, and Phonography is their second self-produced album. Their style is rooted deeply in Seventies Rock, and the classic three-piece line-up is enough to make this work. Raw riffing, not overly complicated, driving drumming, and a pumping bass is all one needs to rock the house. Or is it really?

No, one more thing is necessary: Good Songs! That is where the album makes it really difficult to be judged, as the band changes styles several times during the course of the 13 tracks. In the beginning The Treat rock just fine with “Fanfare To The King,” in which the singer sounds quite notably like Ozzy, and “Make You Crawl,” the hardest rocking song on Phonography. Good stuff, definitely worth hearing… only what happened then? Rock goes lounge act? “The Deathday Parties” tries to be laid back, cool, cold… and fails. This song has no connection at all to the first two, and luckily the style and mood changes drastically again afterwards. A nice, almost Led Zeppelin-influenced simple Rock song gets the band back on track: “Bolivian Diary.”

Then again, the band changes direction so abruptly that you have make sure you are not listening to a compilation. “Roaming” is Eighties’ Radio Rock, AOR somewhere between Loverboy, Bon Jovi, and Foreigner. It seems the band was completely unable to channel their creativity into the same direction. To do them justice, once one is content with that fact, several songs work just fine. Not all of them, though, as the next track “Meadowlands” almost bores you to sleep and makes you aware why you are happy you weren’t around during the Sixties. Continuing on is a Blues track called “Hawaiian Morning Dress,” which is hardly better. These two songs mark the weakest parts of Phonography, and are a risk that someone might just take the CD out of the player, which would be undeserved, as right afterwards “Too Late” offers good, melodic Seventies’ Rock again, only to lead into the intense “Clutching At Jagged Glass.” With the following instrumental sounding a lot like Woodstock free love and overly produced drug hymns, the end of the album begins, which would have been better left out. “Black Cat Whites” is a song about the singer’s cat, unfortunately their fellow countryman Ian Anderson showed how it is done in “Rupi’s Dance,” and The Treat are far from that class. “Erased” offers nothing but a good pun: They should have done just that with the song. It is the longest track on the album and has a Soundgarden feel to the guitar sound, only it drags on and does not offer a chorus good enough to deserve almost six minutes.

So ends the album, except for an under one minute acoustic guitar instrumental of the forgettable kind called “The Wedge,” which is not listed on the inlay card. Did the band think it was not worth mentioning? They would have been right.

In total, that makes six good songs out of 13, which is not too bad for an independent release. So one should not judge them too harshly, as the band clearly has not found their style yet. It can be interesting to see on which shores The Treat end up with their next effort. In the meantime, it is worth checking out their Web site where they stream several songs. Then you need to decide if it is enough for you to support the underground and order the album.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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