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Treat – Ghost of Graceland Review

Released By : Frontiers Music
Release Date : April 15th
Genre :Melodic Rock

Line Up:
Anders Wilkstrom, Guitars/Keyboards,
Robert Ernlund, Lead Vocals,
Jamie Borger, Drums,
Patrick Apelgren, Keyboards/Guitars,
Pontus Egberg, Bass,

Track List:
Ghost Of Graceland
I Don’t Miss The Misery
Better The Devil You Know
Do Your Own Stunts
Alien Earthlings
Non-stop Madness
Too Late To Die Young
House On Fire
Together Alone
Everything To Everyone

Going back thirty years or so, melodic rock bands were ten a penny. Some produced magical moments that still maintain their relevance today. Sadly, there were the unfortunate ones who fell through the net and never got to dine at the top table with the crème del le crème. Sweden’s Treat is most definitely one band who got lost in the genres overcrowded stable.

Formed in Stockholm in 1981 they did achieve modicums of success, most notably 1985’s The Pleasure Principle album, but that being only on a critical level. So after many personnel facelifts, and the dismal commercial performance of the self-titled album Treat, the axe fell on the bands existence in 1993. However, in 2006 the unexpected success of the Weapons Of Choice compilation album, brought about a reunion that flourished with the success of 2010’s Coup de Grace.

It may have been a six year wait for new material, but once opener, and title track, Ghost Of Graceland gets it’s grip on you, it feels like the first taste of a fine vintage wine you’ve had hidden away for years. While it won’t blow your doors off, it’s still beautifully coated with wall-to-wall hooks that whet the appetite perfectly.

The album starts to flex its muscles with the teeth baring Better The Devil You Know; an all action tour de force track rammed tight with Purple-esque keyboards, a cutthroat guitar riff and perfectly executed solos. While Do Your Own Stunts may lighten the mood a bit, you still have to sit back and admire the way this band construct a melody. They rev it up in style with the cruising power of Endangered; the rampaging pace is constant and makes for a grandiose rocker. Even the teeth watering “finders keepers, losers weepers” lyric can’t halt it.

But it completely pales in insignificance to the supreme majesty that is Alien Earthlings. If ever you were looking for a song to transport you back in time to this genre’s heyday, this gem with get you there in light seconds. Carrying a chorus so addictive, it should come with a government health warning, if this tune doesn’t stir you after the first turn, then you have issues. As brilliant as it is, the remainder of the album is far from being a damp squib. Non-stop Madness is another beauty heavily drenched in melodic retro vibes, founder member and lead vocalist Robert Ernlund puts in a flawless shift as he cheekily stutters out the ridiculously catchy chorus. Proving that they’re far from being a one trick pony, the grizzly Too Late To Die Young will kill any harbouring theory you may have that these lads are all about happy clappy melodic rock.

House On Fire introduces you to their dark side, with some seriously haunting keyboards and a doomy guitar riff, but yet still producing another knock out melody. You could argue that at times some of the album is way over produced. But to be honest the calibre of the song writing on this record deserves every bell and whistle on offer. Co-producer and guitarist/keyboardist, Anders Wilkstrom, along with Peter Mansson, pull out all the stops on the brilliantly teary eyed and fervent Together Alone. Wilkstrom takes on lead vocal duties and gives Ernlund a good run for his money with a genuinely emotional performance.

They sign off in style with Everything To Everyone, another saccharine doused ditty that in parts leans towards mainstream pop, but you you’ll still want to keep spinning it. Whatever they’re putting in the water at Frontiers music these days, seems to be causing a long overdue renaissance in rock today, and long may it continue. They’ve struck gold again. An out and out master class.

Written By: Brian Boyle

Score : Brian 10/10

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