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  • Writer's pictureGavin Griffiths

The Treatment - "Wake Up The Neighbourhood" out May 10th via Frontiers Music ALBUM REVIEW by Gav Griffiths

The Treatment - "Wake Up The Neighbourhood" out May 10th via Frontiers Music ALBUM REVIEW by Gav Griffiths


"Is this a case of reminding people that real music exists, or are they just noisy bastards looking for an ASBO?" - Gav The Gothic Chav





When you think of Cambridge, I can guarantee your mind will go to some, default ideology, and think of fancy colleges, ye olde church architecture and predominantly upper-class ways of life. Which to be fair, is pretty accurate, but there is more to the city than higher education and cultural fancification; and we’re not talking about their little boat race with Oxford. (Tradition is one thing but I’d rather see them in a classic WWE Survivor Series 4-on-4 tag match, but what ya gonna do brother?)  


There is also a decent amount of alternative music that comes out of Cambridge too, with some incredibly notable bands. Whether it’s going back to KATRINA AND THE WAVES, or more recently the likes of MALLORY KNOX and LONELY THE BRAVE for example, but today we’re going to be looking at THE TREATMENT. Formed in 2008, and currently consisting of the line-up of vocalist Tom Rampton, guitarists Tao and Tagore Grey, bassist Andy Milburn and drummer Dhani Mansworth, they’ve flown the flag for classic tinged rock from the get-go, and 2024 finds them releasing their sixth studio album “Wake Up The Neighbourhood”. Is this a case of reminding people that real music exists, or are they just noisy bastards looking for an ASBO? Let’s find out... 



We open up with “Let’s Wake Up This Town” and it seems to be a call to arms of sorts; talking about the rock ‘n’ roll scene as a whole, as opposed to a specific hometown rallying cry. They want to reignite that spark; that initial feeling of rebelliousness. It’s in theory a reminder that, rock ‘n’ roll and classic hard rock are very much still relevant; save grassroots venues...there are good bands out there, good MUSIC is out there; let’s go back to basics and just enjoy some no-nonsense, swagger-rich, balls-out rock. The trouble, however, is that it’s all incredibly tired and tested. Look at us, we rock, we don’t care about fame and money, we just love to play, play it loud...it’s all very cliche to be honest, and despite a decent little guitar solo, it’s ten a penny content. For the kind of people that like that kind of thing, that’s the kind of thing that these people will like. Or however Jim Cornette said it. 



Next up we not only reinforce that statement, but we also drive it home harder than when Vince Neil drunkenly killed Razzle back in the day. “Back To The 1970’s” gives you more classic-rock tropes and throwbacks than an archaeologist on Time Team digging their 700th trench of roman dirt. (It’s not just dirt, its ROMAN dirt, and that’s sexy dirt, allegedly). It’s got a very LYNYRD SKYNYRD aesthetic to it instrumentally and in presentation, while they reference the likes of LED ZEPPELIN and DEEP PURPLE, as they fondly remember the good old days. There are things from the 70’s that sound incredible, like, a gallon of fuel only costing 33p, or a pint of Guinness only costing 16p for example, but The Treatment haven’t adjusted their sound for inflation. To their credit they do a great job capturing the tone and vibe of that classic southern rock style, but we’veheard it all before. Never mind Alabama, this is sweet home in the care home. 

There’s a little more substance to follow-up track “When The Thunder And Lightning Strikes”, and it’s more akin to artists like DIO or JUDAS PRIEST with the vocal presentation, gang vocals and riff delivery. It's got more of a traditional metal aesthetic, and it chugs along with a grittier, more serious nature. A mid-track flurry of more up-tempo playing and another slick yet brief solo spark interest, and instrumentally it’s the kind of track that THE PRETTY RECKLESS might put out, but this is still pretty mundane in the grand scheme of things.  


“This Fire Still Burns” is arguably the albums primary highlight with its MOTLEY CRUE-esque, energetic slab of hard rock, which does provide the listener with a genuine foot-tapper, and it shows the guys CAN deliver when they want to, and aren’t just trying to tick boxes per se. “Fire Me Up” doesn’t quite ignite a burning passion as such, but it’s got a powerful chorus vocal that encourages a sing-along that I’d imagine would go down really well at live shows; it’s the kind of chorus that a crowd can really belt out and it’s got a great hook, coupled with a strong crescendo rounding the track up, resulting in another album highlight.  



Taking things down a notch we have “I Can’t Wait No Longer”, which sounds like the kind of crusty ballad ROD STEWART would wrap his wrinkly lips around and lads, nobody likes a crusty ballad, go and wash your ballads for the love of fuck’s sake, moisturise even. The piano is a nice touch however, and the guitar here is emotive I’ll give them that. The key change does take things up a gear and it’s got a hint of THE DARKNESS about it, just not as entertaining. We finally close the album on “I’ve Got My Mind Made Up”,and I couldn’t reiterate that harder. 


The argument here really boils down to a matter of semantics. Have The Treatment made a conscious decision to dabble in that classic hard rock style from years gone by? Yes, they have. Do they play and perform well? Yes, they do. Is there anything necessarily wrong with how they present themselves? No, not really. So, what’s the issue? As I referenced above, they are sadly ten a penny, and while I can appreciate and respect a band for looking to the legends, to the classics for inspiration; to be true to the soul and the passion that drives traditional hard rock and rock ‘n’ roll, it just sounds like another band that old guys who were at the original Monsters Of Rock festivals would drink warm beer to, living in groundhog day.  


They play well as I said, don’t get me wrong, they do what they do competently, but no amount of modern production and studio wizardry can prevent this from sadly sounding stale. You can emulate the greats to your hearts content, but people were expecting hover boards and shit by now, living like The Jetsons. These are just another bunch of Flintstones having a gay old time, living in the past, bringing nothing new to the table. If they are the treatment for the ailments in modern music, they are practically medicinalleeches, sucking on the haggard wound of a fifty-year-old sound.


By Gav Griffiths


The band also announced a UK date on the occasion of the Album Launch,

Saturday 11th May at Mash in Cambridge.



“WAKE UP THE NEIGHBOURHOOD” :


1.     Let’s Wake Up This Town

2.     Back To The 1970's

3.     When Thunder And Lightning Strikes

4.     This Fire Still Burns

5.     Man On The Highwire

6.     I Can't Wait No Longer

7.     Don't Make No Difference

8.     Fire Me Up

9.     Free Yourself

10.  Kick You Around

11.  I've Got My Mind Made Up



Catch The Treatment on tour this September with The Dead Daisies





LINE-UP

Vocals Tom Rampton

Drums Dhani Mansworth

Guitar Tagore Grey

Guitar Tao Grey

Bass Andy Milburn

 

SOCIALS

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