Bermuda, The Contortionist and Periphery 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 more 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, The Treatment.
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 KISS / 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 The Answer, Thin Lizzy and Stone Gods
– 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 More’s “Road Rocket”, which should go down a treat with your average KISS 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 Aerosmith meets Def Leppard
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
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 more extra complexity; at these points in time, simplicity is everything. In these moments you might just crave music like this. The Treatment’s songs do just what they say on the wrapper. They’re more 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