Courtesy: Spinefarm Records
The 1980s is one of the most important decades in the history of the music industry. Disco evolved into New Wave during that decade. Rap and Hip-Hop started burgeoning during those years, too. And in the world of rock, audiences were presented with both the New Wave of Heavy Metal (NWOHM), and the rise and fall of the hair metal movement. While the age of big hair and big rock came and went seemingly in the blink of an eye, it also produced some of the biggest names in the history of rock and metal. Def Leppard, Poison, Motley Crue, Dokken and others of that ilk dominated radio stations and arenas across the country in that ten-year span. Motley Crue is officially calling it a career. The others called it a career years ago. And while they may be gone, many bands since have shown that they are hardly forgotten, producing record after record that pays homage to said forebears. Now another act has added its name to that long list of bands keeping the age of big guitar riffs and equally big hair alive in the form of The Treatment. The five piece from Cambridge, England released its full length deut record Running With The Dogs on indie label Spinefarm Records back in February of this year. It is a fittingly titled record, too. That’s because the band, whose members are each in no more than their late teens, stays right with the rest of the pack on its debut. The band keeps up with other bands of its genre (E.g. Buckcherry, Airbourne) in its debut. That’s thanks both to its full-throttle, no nonsense rock and roll sound, and its equally old school lyrics. The combination of the two makes this record a must hear for anyone that wants a break from the seemingly constant barrage of cookie monster growls and poppy rock songs dominating so much of the rock world today. Right off the top, front man Matt Jones and his band mates–Dee Dammers (guitar), Tagore Grey (Guitar), Dhani Mansworth (drums), and Rick “Swoggle” Newman (bass)–show that they mean business in the album’s opener ‘I Bleed Rock N’ Roll.’ This song is classic rock and roll all the way around and will have audiences instantly rocking and singing along. By and large, the band keeps things moving throughout the record, slowing only once in the album’s penultimate acoustic opus ‘Unchain My World.’ Even being an acoustic piece, it harkens back to the acoustic ballads of Poison and other big hair bands from the 80s. And what rock record is complete without an up-tempo piece about a female figure that all the guys want? It’s there, too in the form of ‘She’s Too Much.’ These three songs are each enjoyable in their own right for anyone nostalgic for real rock and roll. Along with the other ten songs that make up this album, the whole thing proves to be a record that any old school rock and roll fan will enjoy.
The Treatment’s debut album Running With The Dogs is an aptly titled collection of songs. The band’s members show exactly why right off the top in the album’s high-energy opener ‘I Bleed Rock and Roll.’ Musically speaking, this song instantly shows influences from veteran rock acts the likes of AC/DC and Motley Crue. Drummer Dhani Mansworth’s solid 4/4 time set against the dual guitar attack of Dee Dammers and Tagore Grey instantly gets the body and the blood moving. The duo’s old school shredding and harmonies will transport audiences back to rock’s era of big riffs and even bigger hair. Front man Matt Jones’ vocal styling adds to that musical trip back in time even more. It’s incredible how much Jones’ vocal style soudns so much like Motley Crue front man Vince Neil. Lyrically, the song is just as much of an homage to rock’s “biggest” era with the band singing in the song’s chorus, “I live rock and roll/It’s my destiny/All I bleed is rock and roll. the message is clear and simple not just here but in the song’s verses, too. That simplicity and clarity of the song’s lyrics couple with its musical side to make this song the perfect opener for the band. To another extent, that it finishes in such bombastic fashion makes it an equally fitting closer both on the album and in a live setting. It’s just one of so many of the album’s opuses that shows what makes it a pure rock record well worth the listen.
It goes without saying that The Treatment chose the right song in ‘I Bleed Rock and Roll’ to open its debut full-length record. Interestingly enough, that same song would work just as much as a closer for the band as the album’s closer and even as a show closer in a live setting. The energy exuded by the band in this song is carried throughout every one of the songs that follow it right up to the album’s penultimate piece ‘Unchain My World.’ This acoustic ballad is just as much a throwback to the 80s as the album’s opener and any other song on this record. Stylistically, listeners will instantly be able to make comparisons between this song and the ballads churned out by veteran rock bands such as Motley Crue, Poison, and even Mr. Big just to name a few. This applies to the song both musically and lyrically. The comparison to Mr. Big comes especially in the song’s chorus as the band sings “Unchain my world/Cause you’re all I’ve really got.” Musically, one could even mistake the song for one of Mr. Big’s biggest hits of all time if one were listening to this song not knowing it was said band. The song’s verses highlight that comparison, too with Jones singing how much a certain love interest has changed the subject’s life. He sings of said subject’s view of the love interest, “I’m still fascinated/How deep inside I feel so incomplete/Indiscreet.” Just as with the album’s opener, that mix of music and lyrics is just as certain to take audiences back to what is perhaps one of rock’s most underrated eras.
‘I Bleed Rock and Roll’ and ‘Unchain My World’ are both prime examples of the old school 80s influence presented on The Treatment’s debut full-length album. Any old school rock and roll aficionado will appreciate thanks to that direct influence. They aren’t the only good examples of that influence and enjoyment on this record, either. The blues-based rocker that is ‘She’s Too Much’ is another great example of that influence and enjoyment. It’s not as up-tempo as some of the album’s other songs. But it leaves no one guessing in regards to its lyrical content. It is presented very much in the vein of AC/DC’s ‘Whole Lotta Rosie.’ Jones sings over the bluesy riffs of his band mates, “She’s too much/Everything is not enough/She’s too much/Better load your gun boys/Take aim/Now fire.” The song is thankfully not a direct mirror image of ‘Whole Lotta Rosie.’ But the blues-based rock sound churned out by Dammers and Grey definitely makes the comparison easy and not in a bad way, either. Again in a time when so much of the rock and even hard rock world is dominated by cookie monster growls and crunching, down-tuned guitars, such a comparison is especially welcome considering that The Treatment has taken an influence as respected as AC/DC and crafted its own equally fun rock song. It’s just one more of the thirteen total songs on this record that classic rock buffs will enjoy.
The songs noted here are each good examples of just what makes The Treatment’s debut album Running WithThe Dogs one more album released this year proving that contrary to Gene Simmons’ own views, rock and roll is not dead. Nor is it even in the hospital so to speak. It proves that rock and roll is alive and well. It takes audiences back to an era when rock and roll was indeed rock and roll; an era when rock and roll was truly fun. European audiences will agree with that sentiment when they see the band live on its current European tour. Audiences will get to hear the band live when it rolls into Rotterdam, Netherlands next Thursday, November 27th, Paris, France next Friday, and Brussels, Belgium next Saturday, November 29th. Audiences can pick up the band’s CD at those shows and each show after. Whether in Europe or in the United States, audiences can pick up Running With The Dogs in stores or online now. Fans can keep up with the band’s current tour schedule and all of its latest updates online now at:
To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.