The Treatment – Then & Again

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Review by Brian McGowan

As any good PR man will tell you – you’ve got to capitalise on your success. ‘Then&Again’ is a handful of covers of an amazingly diverse choice of classics, designed to fan the flames while the heat generated by 2011’s ‘This Might Hurt’ gradually dissipates. A pot boiler.

Five iconic rock songs, so you have to be foolish or just young and talented to tackle them. Songs like this have weight, gravitas, a life of their own. Like swimming with sharks, if you can’t keep up, they’ll drag you under. Fortunately, The Treatment have the talent, the chops and an instinctive way with a rock song. Wisely, producer, Laurie (Airrace) Mansworth keeps things simple and soundly structured, giving the songs a rawer, edgier feel. Like he wants it to sound deliberately dated, but yet there is no way you would mistake these versions for karaoke copies. For The Treatment, it is evidence of their influences. What they listened to during the formative years. The spirit that infuses and informs their music…culminating in last year’s ’This Might Hurt’. Big guitars, big melodies and big, indeed huge hooks, the aurally adhesive kind, the type that resonate, strike a chord, sink in fast and stay in your consciousness forever.

Their enthusiastic treatment of ELO’s ’Evil Woman’, where they tone down the strings and crank up the guitars makes a perfect fit for Matt Jones’s rock shaped voice. ‘Run, Run, Run’ (Jo Jo Gunne) is just brimming over with youthful abandon. The joy is almost palpable. You can almost sense the band’s incredulity that they are actually recording this all time great rock song.

Although the collection is book ended by the tracks apparently most favoured by the band – a reverential version of Chris Spedding’s ‘Motorbikin’ and a full blooded take on Slade’s ‘Take Me Back ‘Ome’ – the standout cover is that of Canned Heat’s ‘Let’s Work Together’. The song’s relentless groove and the universal appeal of the lyrics, relics of the Hippie era, simply drawn and almost introspective, combine to edge the band toward a fuller, more mature sound. Arguably, for The Treatment, this could be a signpost to their true direction home.

Rated 7 out of 10