Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Treat - Coup De Grace (CD)

In the eighties Swedish melodic rock scene there was Europe, there was 220 Volt and there was Treat. First one out to re-unite was Europe, soon followed by 220 Volt, both returning with a vengeance and still rocking, even though the latter has been a bit more in the quiet. Well, a few years ago it was time for Treat! Most of the original line-up, reinforced with ace bassist Nalle Påhlsson set out to return, do some shows and release a compilation with a couple of highly promising new tasters. Shows were played and the interest kept growing. Finally, a new, pure and fresh sounding rocker of an album has been released. The return of Treat now has a proper statement. I did like the early works of the band, but I really fell in love with the band on “Organized Crime”, when the guitars were sharpened and the skills were honed. “Coup de Grace” is like the perfect mix of the two styles, still as melodic as the early works, but with the guitars in the forefront. The sound is anything but dated, but they haven’t gone as far as Europe did to update the sound. Treat indeed stays more true to their legacy and I feel that was definitely the right thing to do. However, as I stated, it doesn’t sound dated, and what it does, thankfully, lack, are the 80s sing-along football choirs, which would really have killed the album (“Tangled Up” has some tendencies, but it still passes with flying colours). Instead it sounds like a Treat that has been rolling with the years, accepting that times are actually changing, but still staying true to the legacy. I think this album will definitely attract new and young listeners of melodic rock. Just like with returning bands such as label mates Giant you immediately recognize the band’s sound and style, but at the same time it doesn’t sound like any repetition of lost glory. Fresh and vibrant, as Gordon Ramsey would’ve put it. I was also a bit afraid Anders/Gary Vikström would bring in some of the vibes from his song writing skills unually aimed for some of the international modern pop/rock acts (N'Sync etc). Thankfully he’s recognized the difference and left these tendencies out of the picture. This is a really nice slab of great sounding melodic rock/AOR that I can highly recommend for both old fans and new.
Janne Stark

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