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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Album Review: The Treatment – This Might Hurt (U.S. Release)

With , and all releasing new albums in July, over the past few weeks I’ve been immersed in a world of mathematical metal, desperately trying to either decipher oblique lyrical threads, to latch onto layers submerged under evasive polyrhythmic changes, or to ride on the malleable back of some seriously intricate riffwork. Sometimes you just need to get away from all that calculus and sink your teeth into something that feels less computer and a lot human. Like Florence Nightingale bursting in to save the day, loaded down with metaphorical bandages and imbued with one hell of a bedside manner, I give you the reassuringly familiar four-four beat-bothering, verse-chorus-verse antics of rock n’ roll classicists, .

These UK boys, who happen to hail from in and around my neck of the woods in Cambridgeshire, were virtual unknowns a year ago. That all changed when they released their debut album on Powerage Records. One blink later and they’ve secured a frankly overwhelmingly important tour spot on the / Motley Crüe U.S. merry-go round and have secured a deal with Spinefarm to release their debut, Stateside, for the first time to coincide. Having never heard the album before, and you’re going to have to take my word as an honest Limey for this, now seemed the perfect time to give it a spin.

From what I can pick out, having heard this through a few times, This Might Hurt, is roughly divided into two styles. On one hand there’s your blues-loaded swaggering grooves – “I Fear Nothing”, “Winter Sun” and “Stone Cold Love”. Here, the music echoes the sentiments and stylistic lilt of bands like , and – bands with a strong heart and plenty of ideas. In the other hand you’ve got your sing-a-longs, like “The Doctor”, “D***k F**k F***t”, “Shake The Mountain” and a cover of ’s “Road Rocket”, which should go down a treat with your average and Motley Crüe fan. Being so chorus-geared, with plenty of emphasis on the builds, you get smacks of gang chanting and endless recycling of lyrics. These tracks pretty much speak for themselves – they’re catchy as fuck with plenty of gusto (braggadocio as the Italians say) and nary an innovative twist in sight.

My personal favorites come when they manage to meld both styles and come up with some meets smooth cruisers like “Lady Of The Light”, “I Will Be There”, and “Just Tell Me Why”. The slight vibrato and strong, coarse vocal that Matt Jones piles out on these beauties is immense. Combine that with music that is soaked in blues, dripping with feisty emotion and drenched in soul, and you have a team that I simply cannot wait to get in my car stereo. With these bad boys pumping out into the cool air, that night-time drive home will get a hell of a whole lot easier. Live the cliché, man!

Of course I must mention the little niggles. Sadly, the acoustic version here of “Just Tell Me Why” is rendered completely useless by its mismatched production values – in simple terms, the playing speed and vocal tone leave it feeling far too much like a tack-on. There’s no getting away, either, from the fact that a good chunk of the songs, and in particular “Nothing To Lose But Our Minds” (is it just me who hears “God Gave Rock n Roll To You”?), wear their influences a little too obviously, but neither can you deny that the foot you are surreptitiously tapping and the head you are subconsciously bobbing to those same songs aren’t factors here.

There are times when your little world just can’t handle any extra complexity; at these points in time, simplicity is everything. In these moments you might just crave music like this. ’s songs do just what they say on the wrapper. They’re sugary than a honey-dipped, Cornflake-encrusted Mars bar but they still r-o-c-k.

Alson online (with samples) @ The NewReview =  http://thenewreview.net/reviews/the-treatment-this-might-hurt-u-s-release
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