MIKE HYDER - CRAFTSMAN
LET IT ROCK Review
THE TREAT - SOUND BITES
Mike Hyder – Craftsman
Accompanied by Dominic Lash
playing bass, David Hard on moog
and Selina Organ and John
Halliday on drums, the main man
from British Progressive Rockers
The Treat has assembled four
songs which make up “Craftsman”.
In the nature of Progressive
Rock, you don’t need to feel
short-changed just because it
contains merely four songs. Two
of the tracks clear 10 minute
durations while the other two
sit snugly just under nine
minutes in length.
Vocally, Hyder projects the
honesty and sincerity of
Pink Floyd as he lays
out his lyrical expertise. The
opening song wears the coat of
the title track and with this
responsibility makes sense as
the first track. The chorus
flows with the words “I’m just a
craftsman, playing for you
tonight.” Humble salutations and
acquaintances made, our
listening journey continues in
to “The Rock”.
Fundamentally this album had to
be a solo affair as Hyder adorns
the cover artwork standing in a
countrified environment with his
trusty guitar, and, for all
intents and purposes,
accommodates the role of
craftsman. He tackles lead and
backing vocals in conjunction
with all electric and acoustic
guitars, plus a Dobro lap steel
slide guitar and some Mellotron
and Hammond keys for good
What is so instantly appealing
about this collection is the
overall heartbeat and how
effortless Hyder makes the
proceedings sound. You forget
the length of the music as it
strolls, runs and occasionally
gallops depending on what works
the best. “The Rock” at its core
is reflective and philosophical
thanks to a wee break in Wales.
Hyder explains there was a lot
of inspiration discovered in
this location near the sea.
Embracing the principle of
re-evaluating one’s life and
celebrating the concept of
getting away from the daily
mundane stresses and challenges,
Hyder presents the magical world
of “Eden”. The last time I heard
vocals in the way Hyder lays
them out, was during a binge on
Damien Youth who seemed
influenced heavily by Donovan.
This style of vocal delivery is
reminiscent of the 60s in
general, and amongst these four
tracks works really well.
“The Organisation” closes the
“Craftsman” and provides a
journey which lasts over 19
minutes. Telling the tale of a
truly bad experience with the
educational service provided in
the United Kingdom known as the
Open University, musically the
goal was to capture the ups and
downs of his personal encounter
which is reiterated by
Hyder provides an edgier vocal
delivery at this stage and
hopefully in the aftermath of
such a negative time using their
service and finding it a
suitable platform as a muse, can
now breathe a sigh of relief
that it is behind him. Perhaps
this song has been cathartic and
his emotional well-being is much
better for it?
Personally, I’m very pleased he
reached out to me and sent me a
copy of this album. It is a
wonderful ride which gets better
with each spin. When I first
played it, the cohesive
qualities and the pace were easy
on the ear and as you play it
again and again, it becomes a
friend. This is Progressive Rock
with a heart and a keen eye on
humanity, not technical
excellence or showmanship. It is
Progressive Rock with a sincere
outlook and an honest
Highly recommended for fans
of Progressive Rock,
Pink Floyd and
sunny afternoons where the
day is still and calm.
'LEPERS & DEITIES'
Lepers and Deities
by The Treat
December 29, 2012
by Ric Albano
Lepers and Deities
is the fourth album by the British trio, The Treat. It is the type of
album that not only gets more interesting as it goes along, but is also
better with each listen, which is the true mark of a great album. Released
this past October (2012), the album was produced by Mike Hyder, the
group’s vocalist, guitarist, and chief songwriter. The band presents a very
authentic and original sound, with the song formulas arranged much in the
same fashion as
album – a core acoustic guitar rhythm, dynamic bass, and solid rock drums
topped off by strategic sonic overdubs. However, The Treat take this to a
new level due to their very own resident “Brian Jones” in the form of
multi-instrumentalist David Hart who adds flute, accordion, clarinet,
vibraphone, and various percussive instruments along with his drumming
The band was formed by Hyder in 2001 as a classic rock “power trio” and,
after a few years of extensively touring the UK, they released their debut
album in 2003 called In Technicolor. Bassist Dom Lash joined
the group in 2004 and they spent the next several years extensively writing,
arranging, rehearsing a crop of new songs, some of which were the earliest
incarnations for this album but most ending up on their breakthrough second
album, Phonography, and their highly ambitious double album, Audio
Verite/Deceptive Blends ,in 2008 and 2009 respectively. These albums
took their core classic rock sound and added elements of prog rock,
psychedelia, folk, jazz, and blues.
Lepers and Deities is a bit deceiving at first glance and listen.
First there is the album cover, which along with the band’s name conjures up
visions of Halloween and makes one wonder if this is some occult-championing
group. Then there is the opening song “Trust”, one of the heavier songs
which may lead a new listener to draw the wrong initial conclusions about
the band’s sound. Hyder’s vocals are unique and takes a few listens to tune
into, and this first song is not his strongest performance vocally. However,
the exquisite production quality is evident immediately and even though
“Trust” may be the weakest track on the album, there is enough there to keep
you interested. The moody and melancholy anthem “Sparkle” is the closest to
a traditional “love song” on the album and the first to feature interesting
tidbits like flute by Hart and Hammond organ by guest Jeff Leach.
album truly comes alive with the title song,
“Lepers and Deities”, which showcases
the band’s full range in both composition and sonic spectrum. Here Hyder’s
vocals have a sense of desperation that fits the mood perfectly, and his
great production technique where the sound alternates between acoustic
guitar chimes and a full arrangement. It is complete with a vocal chorus, a
mellotron, and a violin by Flora Curzon with a very dark Mexican
mariachi vibe. Beyond that, everything is arranged perfectly, especially the
acoustic rhythm and Lash’s moody bass.
In the multi-page CD insert, the songs lyrics are presented alternately
as “L’s” (Lepers) and “D’s” (Deities), and there is a thematic ebb-and-flow
as the album progresses. “Bougainvillaeas In the Sand” (a ‘D’) builds
throughout with exotic instruments by Hart, especially the vibraphone
flavouring through the bridge and last verse. “Headcase Baby” (an ‘L’) is
cynical but light and features a great Vox continental organ part by Leach,
above a strong Who-influenced rock arrangement. Later in the album, the
songs take on a distinct 1960s style. “The Falcon and the Iron Rain” is a
musical melodic odyssey which, aside from the vocals, feels a bit like the
better Van Morrison material. “SPT” (“Strangers Passing Through”) is perhaps
the deepest song on this album, with the acoustic strumming nicely fused
with backing organ and well-placed, layered guitars along with profound
I’m looking at people that I thought I knew, but it seems they were
strangers just passing through…”
“Little Treasures” is a picked acoustic song with upbeat rhythm and a
strong accordion presence, first as backing during the verses then in total
as the featured solo. This also features trumpet and flugelhorn by Lloyd
Payne. “My Old School” shows that the band isn’t all serious and deep,
with a very glam, Mott-the-Hoople style tune with frank and obscene lyrics.
Hyder shines throughout this song with a good lead guitar topping off the
near-Scottish folk with a heavy rock backing. The album closes strong with
“Valerie”, which contains interesting passages that contrast between intro
and fills consisting of acoustic accented perfectly sync-ed xylophone and
flute, and the upbeat Kinks-like pop of the main verse-chorus sequence.
Although all three musicians in THE TREAT have their own individual
musical identities, they ‘meet in the middle’ when working on arrangements
of the songs that Mike writes for the band. Both Mike & Dom have a love of
King Crimson. Dave & Mike have been to see Jethro Tull in concert together,
and have an appreciation of Yes. Dom tends to veer more in a jazzy
direction, with Dave showing a greater appreciation of folk styles. Mike
likes both jazz & folk, with a healthy love of blues.
Lepers and Deities is already the fastest selling album the band has
released and has received glowing reviews from other publications. If you
like original and interesting art-rock, this is definitely one to check out.
The Treat - Lepers & Deities
Author Tonny Larsen
Mon 17 Dec 2012
Rating: 3.5/ 5
Year of Release : 2012
Label : Rockular Recordings
Total Time : 42.36
Genre : Rock/60’s Rock
This album is quite an ear opener. The first track "Trust" sounds
uncannily like The Small Faces (Ogden´s Nut Gone-period) in both music and
vocal! Other tracks sound like the Who (track 5), Humble Pie!! Great stuff
But there are also tracks with a very personal touch from this fine trio,
and even those have an aura of 60´s music about them, which I find very
Now it is not as such copy-music. It sounds to me like main writer and
indeed main figure Michael Hyder (Composer, lead vocals, guitars of all
sorts, keyboards, mellotron etc.) really and truly has those musical ideas
and follows true on his original ideas here!!
I have heard this album quite a few times now (and that is an
understatement) and for every spin, I’ve enjoyed it more! This is NOT a prog
album, but it is a very strong Rock/60’s style Rock album. So, if like me,
you love that type of music, then you will surely enjoy this outing a lot!
The CD includes a fine booklet, with a 60’s influenced design. Even the
pictures of these fine musicians have a haze of psychedelia and flower power
Don't expect broadsides of guitar solos or airy keyboard sequences. What
you get here is pure classic old school rock "like the don't make ém
anymore", which in my book is great. I’ve come to love this album and it
will most certainly visit my CD player often!
If you liked the above statements and love classic rock, then you MUST
try this. You know what is always a sign of a great album? The tracks you
didn't like on a first listen, which then grow on you, ending up being some
of your favourites!! This is one such album.
GO, BUY! I promise you are in for a Treat!!!
'AUDIO VERITE/DECEPTIVE BLENDS'
'Entertaining, enthralling and effervescent’
- Classic rock presents PROG
‘An explosion of talent’
- The Big Takeover
‘It’s impossible to convey the scale and ambition of this
album in a review. Suffice to say The Treat pull off a huge undertaking with
- Classic Rock
‘The band's third work is undeniably their best so far. This
is art rock wandering through genres, while at the same time trying to be as
accessible as possible’
- Metal Perspective
‘This sprawling collection has some really good stuff’
‘The musicianship, instrumentation and package as a whole is
- Classic Rock Society
‘Oxford's finest are back and they have blown the expectations
out of the water’ - Room 13
‘Enough variety and quality to justify a long and happy
musical relationship’ - Terrascope
'Each track introduces something new and
colourful. The album is quirky, undeniably eclectic, creative, idiosyncratic,
indulgent, brave, experimental, and
- Blog Critics
Blends feels like the spiritual successor to The Beatles ‘Abbey
Road’. A tasty Treat, indeed’
Full Reviews Below
TOP TEN BEST ALBUMS OF 2009
On “Audio Verite/Deceptive Bends” their latest, double CD, The Treat harken
back to the glory days of vinyl by pretending there are four sides, the music
split into “Rock”, “Acoustic”, “Electric” and “Experiment”. Starting with Rock,
the band punch their way out of the speakers with the heavy psych-pop of “This
is the One”, a statement of intent built over a modish guitar riff and a solid
backing. On “Showtime”, the tempo is increased as the band rock out, although
the ELP inspired lyrics seem out of place amongst the frantic riffing although
may be it is only old prog-heads like me that will notice this. With a wonderful
rock shuffle, “For a Reason” closes the rock side with a joyful smile, the band
reminding me of mid period family. Moving on the acoustic side features five
early seventies sounding tracks with “Cycles” reminding me of The Greatest Show
on Earth, including some excellent flute and guitar playing as well as rolling
had percussion that pushes the song along at a fine pace, whilst a country fell
is evident on the good-time feel of “By the Sea”. To close the side, “The
Dragons Den” has some wonderfully whimsical lyrics about Alice and her Dragon,
the light arrangement and sympathetic arrangements making the song one of my
favourites so far
Basically a three piece, the trio play a huge array of instruments, the
variety finally coming into play on disc two as the Electric side threatens to
blow your mind wide open with the guitar heavy psych of “Massive Attack”, a
crunching riff overflowing with wah-driven guitar and pounding drums, the bass
propelling the song forward with an angry buzz. A similar sound is also present
on “Anger Management” another rocker of vintage quality; the band beginning to
loosen up for the freakier romps that is “Cybernaut”, the tune opening up with
some stellar playing from all. Finally hitting the lysergic zone “Silent Voices”
is an eastern influenced track that is early Floyd influenced especially in the
authentic organ sound, a great song that spins around the room in a perfumed
haze. Final track on the side is a slide riddled slice of county whimsy about
“Farmer Jack’s Tree”, ending the strongest and most Terrascopic side so far. Ok,
onto the Experiment side, an intriguing title that seems slightly misleading as
“Citizen of the World” sound like it could be equally at home on the Electric
side apart from the fact it uses an acoustic guitar for its riffing, good song
though with a very evident 1970 feel. Next up, “The Art of Deception” has a
jazzy groove, with some laid back Clarinet playing and breathy vocals giving the
song a summery sheen, this feel carried on by the funky rhythms of “Fan the
Flames”, the songs of Traffic coming to mind. Featuring sliding, atonal string
sounds and half sung, half spoken words, “Little Fly” finally justifies the word
experiment, a paranoid tale about a fly in the room; this is a surreal piece of
whimsy that is strange in a good way, although you may not play it that often.
To end the side and the album, “In My Own Time” is a slice of 70’s rock with
more excellent flute a punchy guitar riff and dynamics that lift the song a
notch above, add to this some Mariachi trumpets and you have a future classic
that is one of the strongest thing on the entire album. A brave experiment, this
album may be slightly too long and, personally, I would have liked to have heard
the song mixed up over the discs rather than broken into section, however,
having said that, I will definitely be returning to the album as I feel that it
may be a grower with enough variety and quality to justify a long and happy
musical relationship. (www.thetreat.co.uk)
By Simon Lewis
Review in CLASSIC ROCK
ROUND-UP : PROG By Geoff Barton
Treat - Audio Verite/Deceptive Blends
It's not just the Rolling Stones
that can offer a good double album you know!
Oxford's finest are back with
their third album.
Tue Jun 9 14:42:07 2009
Rated 10 out of 13
by Jim Ody
This is the third album for Oxford experimental rockers The Treat, and whilst
their last album, ‘Phonography’ in 2007 saw them stretch out further than being
just ‘a classic rock’n’roll band’, here they have blown the expectations out of
the water by releasing a double album. Packed with twenty tracks, it is in fact
packaged as four sides that once again showcases the band’s ability to be
different and try their hand at many genres. We have a Rock side, an Acoustic
side, Electric side and Experiment side letting main man Mike Hyder unleash his
muse, and flex his creative musical muscle.
The first five songs make up the Rock side and arguably this could be what you
would be most familiar with as a Treat fan. ‘This Is The One’ has that 70’s rock
feel of Zepplin with big guitars and sing-along vocals. This then leads to,
‘Showtime’ that is a quirky rock song with stoner-fuzzbox guitars, and a more
theatrical rock-influence of the likes of 12 Stone Toddler partying with David
Bowie and WASP…Next song, ‘Drawing Lines’ has chugging guitars before the song
explodes into a great anthem of a track. Pulling classic rock influences with a
dash of The Ramones it’s a pure joy to my ears. Things then slow down for a
chilled, laid back psychedelic rock/jazz number in, ‘On The Waterfront’, and
this is the first of the songs that suggest that you shouldn’t take too much
notice in the ‘Rock, Acoustic, Electric & Experiment’ headings, as the songs
could be under either headings. Then in, ‘For A Reason’ we have a quick-tempo
foot-tapper that is catchy with a melodic guitar riff, and a shuffling drum
beat. Good stuff.
The first song under the ‘Acoustic’ banner is, ‘Beautiful Way’ that has the
band’s almost famous long-intro that we’ve become accustomed to. It’s gentle
with a trumpet and flugelhorn along with an acoustic guitar giving a
contemplative lazy-afternoon-in-the-sun daydream of a track, before the
kaleidoscopic musical mix of ‘Cycles’. This is a song that has a Tonbak & Daf
and is head on collision of Folk, Blues, Eastern and a hint of Country, but
works well. Then we have ‘Sweet Jasmine’ which is a thoughtful instrumental
sounding very much like some of Eddie Vedder’s solo music on the soundtrack he
wrote for the film ‘Into The Wild’. The next track is a cross between an Irish
Folk track and Frank Turner, and called, ‘By The Sea’. It’s another sing-along
and ale drinking song that’s as catchy as scurvy but a whole lot more welcoming!
The last song in the section is ‘The Dragon Den’ which once again sees Mike tip
his hat to John Lennon and The Beatles in a mid-tempo track in this very vein.
As the beginnings of the ‘Electric’ section starts I realise that this is a side
of the band which could very well be their strongest, and whilst I also suspect
that Mike Hyder likes to tinker with his experimental side, this is where his
true strength lies. ‘Massive Attack’ is a blistering track with big deep guitar
riffs and a real Heavy Metal feeling towards it, whereas ‘Anger Management’ is
very much Janes Addiction, a side to the band that I’ve not seen before but
again whole-heartedly encourage. ‘Cybernaut’ has the big Sabbath-esque riffs and
slots nicely under the 70’s Metal umbrella. Things then get slightly strange in,
‘Silent Voices’ that sound a little like Porno For Pyros with it’s experimental
melodic Rock, whilst we have some good old Folk/Blues in ‘Farmer Jack’s Tree’
that is poor genius…
Now most bands you might worry a little bit if they had a section of five songs
under the heading of ‘Experiment’, and with The Treat this could be multiplied
by one hundred. However, ‘Citizen Of The World’ eases us in with a Black
Sabbath-esque riff on an acoustic guitar and bongos and vocals that sound a
little like Iron Maiden without the warble. ‘The Art Of Deception’ is a 60’s
Rock/Pop song with an acoustic guitar and a kazoo, making for a trippy-little
number. ‘Fan The Flames’ is a great track that is part Rhythm & Blues, and part
Funk found in a bar in 1970’s Manhattan. Beautifully arranged it’s a surprising
but refreshing track. Then we have a song that quite frankly is a waste of time
for me in, ‘Little Fly’ that might have been funny at the time, but just gets
monotonous far too quickly, with little music other than a stringed instrument
making fly noises, and… well, I’ll just concentrate on the other tracks here!
The last song ‘In My Own Time’ brings in the use of all of the instruments that
Mike and buddies have acquired with hints of Mexican brass and a whole host of
other percussion. A complex but nice song to finish!
As a whole, the album is a mixed bag, but then you would expect this. The
‘Electric’ side is my favourite with 4 or the 5 tracks making onto the album if
I had to halve this to a more modest 10 track offering, however there are
possibly 2 in each of the others that are very strong, and the only weak track
here is the awful, ‘Little Fly’. The Treat like to try something different, and
with each offering you are never disappointed. As optimistic as a double album
is, this is an enjoyable CD. It would’ve been easy to pick out 12 strong tracks
here and forget the rest, but then it would’ve changed the whole of what this
album is about. Wholesome and innocently entertaining, it maybe that The Treat
are slowly gaining the musical recognition that they truly deserve. Good work
01 - This Is The One
02 - Showtime
03 - Drawing Lines
04 - On The Waterfront
05 - For A Reason
06 - Beautiful Way
07 - Cycles
08 - Sweet Jasmine
09 - By The Sea
10 - The Dragon Den
11 - Massive Attack
12 - Anger Management
13 - Cybernaut
14 - Silent Voices
15 - Farmer Jack's Tree
16 - Citizen Of The World
17 - The Art Of Deception
18 - Fan The Flames
19 - Little Fly
20 - In My Own Time
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Music Review: The Treat - Audio Verite/Deceptive Blends
Perkins — Published:
Jun 26, 2009 at 7:03 am
The Treat reveal their weapons of mass construction
Open the cover of The Treat’s sprawling new double CD and you will see the
band's own weapons of mass construction. An impressive array of old and
newguitars and instruments ranging from Fender to sitar and bongos to
didgeridoos (and from such countries as Africa to India) help give an indication
of the eclecticism on offer within.
Last year I caught up with
reviewed their highly original album Phonography. I wrote, "it will be
interesting to see where they take it from here". So, has my own question been
answered on this ambitious release, Audio Verite/Deceptive Blends?
Straight away my intrigue is made deeper by the fact that each disc is
further divided into what would have been ‘sides’, in the days of good old
vinyl. The four ‘sides’ are in fact themes, starting with 'Side Rock' and the
anthemic “This Is The One”. However, you will soon learn that you can’t second
guess this band and when the oddball “Showtime” kicks in you realize it’s going
to be an intriguing ride.
“Drawing Lines” draws its own lines from neo-punk whilst “On The Waterfront”,
complete with melodica solo, takes us off in a more gentle direction of lazy
days down by the river. Listen closely and you can hear that the display of
instruments is no mere showcase and each track introduces something new and
colourful from the collection.
The hooky rockabilly of “For A Reason” leads on into 'Side Acoustic' (same
disc, different section) and a track called “Beautiful Way”. Its arrival signals
another side-step within this journey. “Cycles” tackles the never ending world
of senseless politics, conflict, and war with a set of lyrics set within a
Middle-Eastern vibe. Meanwhile the delicately performed instrumental “Sweet
Jasmine” shimmers nicely.
The retro sounding “By The Sea”, and “The Dragon’s Den” bring the acoustic
side of the Audio Verite section to a close with two well told storybook
songs. Changing discs we have Deceptive Blends, with the first theme
being 'Side Electric', which arrives within a fog of psychedelia.
“Anger Management” captures the rage and anxiety of its title. The mystical
“Silent Voices” weaves a smoky vibe as one of the album’s stronger offerings.
The last section, 'Side Experiment', opens with the politically inspired
“Citizens Of The World” which strums its way like a protest song from a
different era whilst sadly reminding us that nothing ever really changes. “The
Art Of Deception” has a village green quirky Englishness about it.
However, another twist takes us to the deep south with a funky “Fan The
Flames”. The persistent “Little Fly” made his way into the studio and onto the
album, before happily flying off to annoy another day.
'Side Experiment' ends the album with the colourful “In My Own Time” which
comes complete with an excellent first take trumpet solo by Chris Lewis. One of
the best songs on the album, it’s tucked away at the end leaving a strong
I bet my hideous overdraft on the fact that the word ‘ambitious’ will crop up
on the vast majority of reviews for this album. The album is also quirky,
undeniably eclectic, creative, idiosyncratic, indulgent, brave, experimental,
and yes, I have to agree, ambitious.
It draws firstly from a huge range of influences, utilizes a vast collection
of instruments, and is somewhat reflective of the constantly changing world in
which we live. Its presentation in sections is proudly retro with its four sides
grouped around their themes and yet it is an album that also gives it all a
It represents, as guitarist, composer, and producer of The Treat, Mike Hyder
says, 'a three and half year musical collage'. Inevitably some parts of the
whole will work better for some than others. It is most definitely an album by a
band following their muse and one that is clearly destined to divide opinion.
It is also just what its title promises it to be, and is ever changing, often
promising, sometimes frustrating, always surprising, occasionally disappointing,
yet never predictable.
In an age when it is all but impossible to explore boundaries that have
already been pushed countless times before, The Treat have decided to attempt to
do just that. They have bravely dived in, gone with their instincts, and created
a diverse musical experiment that expands some of the signs contained within
As a result my question of ‘where next’ has been somewhat torn up and thrown
into a swirling wind with this wholly individual project. Now, I am left asking
exactly the same question for next time. One thing for sure is that it won’t be
easy to predict.
Have a look and a listen on the band's
DPRP - Dutch Progressive Rock Page
REVIEWS 2009 : VOLUME 31
The Treat – Audio Verité/Deceptive Blends
|Country of Origin:
|Year of Release:
Audio Verité: [Side Rock]: This Is The One (4:16), Showtime (3:23),
Drawing Lines (3:30), On The Waterfront (4:16), For A Reason (3:26) [Side
Acoustic]: Beautiful Way (4:52), Cycles (5:19), Sweet Jasmine (3:16), By The Sea
(3:50), The Dragon Den (3:56)
Deceptive Blends: [Side Electric]: Massive Attack (5:23), Anger Management
(4:33), Cybernaut (3:06), Silent Voices (5:20), Farmer Jack’s Tree (3:38) [Side
Experiment]: Citizen Of The World (5:58), The Art Of Deception (3:08), Fan The
Flames (5:49), Little Fly (2:49), In My Own Time (5:19)
Eclectic Oxford-based rockers The Treat – and their main-man Michael Hyder in
particular – are clearly not short of either material or ambition, with this new
double album coming just a year after their
CD of 2008, and is only their third release overall. As can be shown by the fact
that the track list is broken down into clearly defined sides of different
styles, The Treat cover a lot of ground here, although Hyder’s distinctive
vocals and a certain seventies-leaning aesthetic help give a sense of
cohesiveness to proceedings. The press release compares the band’s music to that
of The Beatles (in their White Album era), Led Zeppelin and Queen – I
certainly wouldn’t say the music reaches the greatness of these three bands in
their pomp as yet, but you can see where the comparisons come from, in that
these bands certainly pushed the envelope creativity-wise whilst retaining their
own identity. The cover shows a variety of instruments, all of which are used
(some extensively) over the course of the album – occasionally the use of the
more exotic of these seems a bit superfluous but more often they are put to good
use, often adding some interesting touches that help add to the songs.
As you might expect, “Side Rock” sees the band bashing out some
blues-tinged seventies influenced hard rock in true power trio style. The
opening This Is The One, which grooves hard and has a strong chorus, is
probably the pick of the bunch although Drawing Lines, with its chugging
guitars (reminiscent of Queen’s Now I’m Here) and almost punk-ish
attitude, is also worthy of special mention. Less “rock” is On The Waterfront,
which almost seems like Hyder’s own interpretation of the Otis Redding classic
Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay. David Hart’s bass clarinet playing adds
some interesting textures here.
“Side Acoustic”, as might be expected, is an altogether more laid back
affair. The stand-out here (and one of the album’s highlights) is Beautiful
Day, an atmospheric, mellow ballad which benefits a great deal from the warm
vintage keyboard sounds Hyder employs on the song. The politically-charged
Cycles is driven by Hart’s tabla playing and sees Hyder playing the
mandolin, whilst the instrumental Sweet Jasmine is nicely melancholy,
with some sensitive piano playing from Hart. By The Sea, however, leans
(musically at least) a little too close to Queen’s 39 for comfort, in my
“Side Electric” is subtitled “another side of rock” so once again sees
The Treat rocking out. Massive Attack (nice title!) builds slowly and
lays on the power chords, culminating in a powerful chorus and some great
wah-wah drenched guitar work from Hyder. Cybernaut has distorted vocals
and a vaguely grunge-esque feel, whilst Farmer Jack’s Tree is a raw,
country blues track with added banjo. Silent Voices is almost a pastiche
of Pink Floyd’s classic Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, and
again sails a bit close to the wind. The only real faux-pas, though, is the
rather naff rap-come-spoken word section on Anger Management, which
spoils the flow of what is an otherwise good track.
We’re in to ‘anything goes’ territory with “Side Experiment” where
Hyder presumably put anything that didn’t fit into the other categories.
Citizen Of The World opens with a riff which has similarities to the
best-known riff in the world – the one on Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water
– except its played on acoustic guitar and tabla! There’s also some sitar on
this one. The Art Of Deception is quirky pop with Hyder singing in a
“posh” accent; the song reminded me of something that New Zealand avant-garde
pop outfit Split Enz might have done in their earliest days. Fan The Flames
sees the band indulging in some cod-funk playing, and is another strong track
carried by an inventive rhythm section. The album closes with In My Own Time,
which even has a mariachi band-style section, mixing surprisingly well with the
song’s epic rock feel. The only pity is that Little Fly got left on the
album, a truly terrible spoken-word-and–effects piece that was no doubt fun to
make but should have been left on the cutting room floor.
Overall, whilst there are a few weaker moments here and there, and you could
always make the argument that the best of these songs could have made a stronger
single album, I doubt that was the point of this album, which aims to showcase a
wide variety of styles and, in Hyder’s own words, create ‘a song for practically
every occasion’. Another good album by The Treat then, which I hope will
be backed up by some touring, as its surely in the live environment that these
songs will shine the brightest.
Conclusion: 7 out of 10
Martin Hudson - Editor, Classic Rock
|Metal Perspective Review
The Treat - "Audio Verite / Deceptive Blends"
[Rockular Recordings, 2009]
01 - This Is The One
02 - Showtime
03 - Drawing Lines
04 - On The Waterfront
05 - For A Reason
06 - Beautiful Way
07 - Cycles
08 - Sweet Jasmine
09 - By The Sea
10 - The Dragon Den
11 - Massive Attack
12 - Anger Management
13 - Cybernaut
14 - Silent Voices
15 - Farmer Jack's Tree
16 - Citizen Of The World
17 - The Art Of Deception
18 - Fan The Flames
19 - Little Fly
20 - In My Own Time
Mandolin, Banjo, Sitar, Theremin, Bongos,
Castanets, Tabla, Timpani, Didgeridoo, Djembe, Congas, Flute,
Clarinet, Mariachi Trumpets, Tonbak, Daf, Setar, 2 discs classified
in 4 thematic sides/categories (Rock, Acoustic, Electric,
Experiment), 20 songs and the third album by the Oxford elitists The
Treat is a fact. A double CD isn't something quite common nowadays,
especially when it doesn't include any cover versions… Now, there's
an interesting detail I'd like to share with you, before we cut to
the chase. Whatever this may means to whomever, the first issue of
"Classic Rock presents Prog Magazine" featured a brand new track of
The Treat, namely "Citizen Of The World". I mentioned above one by
one all those unconventional musical instruments for two reasons
mainly. On the one hand, for they are quite exotic regarding a rock
album and on the other hand, for making clear that "Audio Verite/Deceptive
Blends" broadens even further the musical palette of the band. Their
idea of dividing the album in four sides proves just that.
First in the row is the Rock side, which, in
essence, is the expected sequence of their "Phonography" album.
Finely crafted songs that hark back to the sound of bands like Led
Zeppelin ("This Is The One") and Beau Brummells & Violent Femmes
("For A Reason"). I should also mention the superbly arranged
leisureliness of "On The Waterfront", which takes you to a euphoric
state of mind. The Acoustic side brings to the fore a certain 60s
and 70s folkish and jazzy flavour. The majestic Tim Buckleyesque
"Beautiful Way" and the instrumental ode to Ennio Morricone "Sweet
Jasmine" are the definite highlights. Temperature rises in the
Electric side, which is dominated by two up tempo and aggressive
tunes. "Massive Attack" is heavy and excellent with its fuzz guitars
and the sing along chorus, and the same goes for "Anger Management"
as well. Eastern melodies flow throughout the psychedelic gem of
"Silent Voices" (Hyder sings down the telephone on this one!). This
is a really impressive attempt to capture the Syd Barrett's feel.
Experiment. The last side. I'm not sure if the title lives up to
the expectations it creates though, as with the exception of the
outrageously surreal "Little Fly" there's little that differ to the
previous quality standards of songwriting. Unless, the word
experiment is about the use of horns in three songs, firstly on "Fan
The Flames" that tips the wink to Dr John's legacy, secondly on The
Kinks-inspired pop-craft "The Art Of Deception" and lastly on the
brilliant "In My Own Time", probably the most suitable epilogue.
Productionwise, the sound is much similar to that
of a 70s record in its re-mastered edition and this is a good thing,
as it depicts the atmosphere intended. Don't get me wrong though;
the album might lean towards a vintage aesthetic, but is also modern
in terms of attitude. Technically, there are no faults given that
all three musicians are skilful and the arrangements, either complex
or simple, are methodical and inspired. Some possible complaints
would include Hyder's nasal and limited range vocals, although his
performance (raw, intense and immediately recognizable) occasionally
brings to mind Mark E. Smith of The Fall, plus the total amount of
tracks, which could have been lessened. Nevertheless, band's third
work is undeniably their best so far. There's passion involved, not
just an academic approach. This is art rock wandering through
genres, while at the same time trying to be as accessible as
possible. An overambitious album that succeeds (to a large extent)
on its own terms.
Reviewer: Stefanos Lountzis
THE TREAT -
Audio Verite / Deceptive Blends
"The pieces of the puzzle have finally come together and fit", declare the
Oxford trio aiming to bepuzzle their listener.
To come up with a double album in the economy times is an ambitious move, but
THE TREAT have been riding their ambition for a long time now, since
"In Technicolor" colored the arid sonic
landscape in 2003, and the retro-futurism of 2007's
"Phonography". Those were tight records
but the new one is sprawling and takes too many strains in to be whole, with
allusions too obvious to savor. While the tasty opener "This Is The One" comes
full of swagger, the following "Showtime" unashamedly lifts the hook of ELP's "Karn
Evil 9"; that's as far as the band's previously infectious humor goes with
titles such as "In My Own Time", the full-on progressive, Mariachi-tinged
assault, and "Massive Attack", an alluring heavy metal smash.
It doesn't take away the sheer enjoyment of any given song - and who can
resist the "Fan The Flames" gritty funk or the band's leader Michael Hyder's
acoustic guitar-and-harmonium ripple on "On The Waterfront" from "Side Rock"?
Yes, the album has not only two parts but also four sides as if it was on vinyl.
The borders are blurred, still, with the "Silent Voices" Middle Eastern haze on
"Side Electric", yet "Side Acoustic" sounds pure, if varied. There's "By The
Sea", a folk-based ditty with a catchy banjo twang, and "Cycles", a tremendous
groover with a Moroccan jive in its snake-like charm. Here's your aural truth of
disc one; disc two, meanwhile, has "Farmer Hack's Tree" turning from the slide-awashed
swampy blues into country rock and gaining weight as it progresses, and the
similarly shaped powerful theatricality of "Citizen Of The World", plus
vaudevillian "The Art Of Deception" which open "Side Experiment".
Too multicolored to digest at once, the album is best to be sipped slowly to
let its wonders get under the skin. And they will creep in!
Let It Rock
Big Takeover >
The Treat – Audio Verité/Deceptive Blends (Rockular)
20 June 2009
you’re a neo-classic rock group, you’re duty-bound to attempt a double album at
some point. The follow-up to the TREAT‘s remarkable sophomore effort
Phonography, Audio Verité/Deceptive Blends essentially combines its
third and fourth LPs into one package. Though divided into four parts – “Side
Rock,” “Side Acoustic,” “Side Electric,” “Side Experiment” – in truth the album
mixes and matches as it sees fit, with a stronger folk rock element than in
records past. That’s not saying much, though – MICHAEL HYDER and his
troop always make a virtue of eclecticism, and this record is no different. As
before, the band casually masters heavy grunge (“Massive Attack”), whimsical
folk (“By the Sea”), moody psychedelia (“Silent Voices”), rockin’ pop (“This is
the One”), groovy blues-rock (“Farmer Jack’s Tree”) and mixtures of all of the
above (“Citizen of the World”). Unsurprisingly for an album this jam-packed, the
been trimmed a bit (the jammy folk-pop cut “Fan the Flames” starts to irritate
fairly quickly and “Little Fly” proves that no one needs to emulate JANDEK),
but overall AV/DB is an explosion of talent.
The Treat - Audio Verité/Deceptive Blends
on Sunday 21 June 2009
author awarded score: 80/100
Rockular Recordings Ltd., April 2009
Audio Verité/Deceptive Blends is the third album from experimental
rockers The Treat, coming from Oxford (England). The Treat is one of the best
and most underrated bands to emerge in recent years on the UK musical scene.
We’ve previously written a few words on their second release
but I must say; this new album is in a league for itself.
They have divided this album into four themed sections exploring prog rock,
country, folk, jazz and ethnic styles, while still pursuing their love of
classic hard rock in all its forms, and of course, psychedelia. This is actually
a double album packed with twenty tracks showing band’s rock side, acoustic
side, electric side and finally experimental side.
There’re used a whole bunch of musical instruments in order to create this quite
unusual and unique release. Old and new musical instruments have been collected
from around the world, which was also shown on the album cover.
However, the first five songs marking the Rock side are without any doubt
the best ones leaving biggest impression on me. Those five tracks summers up
what The Treat is all about, a true essence of the band I guess. With sing-along
vocals, great theatrical atmosphere and big guitar parts it reminds me of old
rock acts such Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Pink Floyd etc. It contains just
everything you would like to hear in a rock release; changing tempos, catchy and
melodic guitar riffs, shuffling drum beats and above everything very pleasant
and fresh sounding vocals.
After this masterpiece follows an acoustic side also contains five songs,
but for me less interesting. It is relaxing and mostly instrumental, with too
long intros and mostly acoustic guitar driven parts that tend to get boring if
listening to it more than once. All of the songs put forward on this part of the
album have this almost folkish sound to it mixing blues, eastern and western
folk elements and almost The Beatles like parts. I definitely do see the
artistically value of this part of the record, but for me as a metal fan this is
pretty boring to be honest.
Electric section starts
of the second CD surprises me a lot, as you can hear clear influences of Black
Sabbath, Queen, Janes Addiction and all those classic UK rock/metal acts from
the 70s. Esp. song like “Cybernaut” is good having this Black Sabbath touch to
it with nice and dark riffs. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of this kind of
music I find it very decent and something that will please all classic rock
Experimental side closes this album with a whole range of instruments that
can be heard here; from bongos over acoustic guitars to percussions and kazoo
(Remember; Kazoo is not just an Italian word for ‘dick’ but also a wind
instrument with a ‘buzzing’ timbral quality to a player's voice when one
vocalizes into it). You can hear just all sorts of influences here, from Black
Sabbath riffs, to some Rock and Pop sounds of the 60s and 70s to more Funk
sounds of 70s and early 80s. It is quite refreshing and… well just experimental
but again not something that will please metal fans and majority of the readers
of this webzine.
All in this entire album is very enjoyable but it is also very anonymous as most
of the songs are just sounding the same. This music is like something from
outside of this world; that’s why it is hard to recommend it for anyone in
particular. It sure has its genius and brilliant moments that deserve your
attention. Do not take my words as truth, just go and order this strange release
HOT NEW REVIEWS
THE TREAT ‘AUDIO VERITE DECEPTIVE BLENDS’ (ROCKULAR RECORDINGS)
THE TREAT is a UK based band, which musically combines all sorts of UK
Rockstyles from the past and on their 3rd album ‘Audio verite deceptive blends’,
this seems to be working best, as this is a whopping double-CD that contains 20
songs divided in 4 different parts/sides. Side 1 is by far the favorite side,
because this is the Classic Rocksound, which see the band playing songs in the
style of THE WHO and VAN HALEN. The other sides include an acoustic part, an
experimental part and a heavy electric side. The experimental part is also very
interesting, as on the 5 songs in this part of the CD the band uses a lot of
‘out of the ordinary’ type of instruments, such as a Daf and a Setar from Iran
or the Indian Sitar. Like said before, the beginning of the CD is pure Classic
Rock, 70s style, but the rest of the CD digs deep in the music history. Quite an
original CD and definitely recommended to people who would like to hear
influences from all sorts of bands combined, because in each and every song you
can hear a different influence, ranging from 70s GENESIS, PINK FLOYD, LED
ZEPPELIN, RUSH, BLUE OYSTER CULT to THE BEATLES. Check it out for yourself at:
(Points: 8.0 out of 10)
(Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)
R2 (Formerly 'Rock'n'Reel)
specialising in roots,
singer-songwriter,folk, rock, world & blues music
Review: The Treat - Audio Verité/Deceptive Blends
Rockular Recordings, Ltd.
Released: June 15, 2009
One of the best things about the Treat's last album, 2007's
was its ability to really move around through rock's past. It was the
movement from influence to influence that gave the album a lot of its life
and that's why their new approach is a little bit disappointing. The
double CD Audio Verité/Deceptive Blends is organized more like a
double LP with four sides, each with its own direction, and that makes the
whole affair more of a sterile exercise than a celebration. While it's a
significant hit to the album's overall energy, there are still some good
fine songs here even if not displayed as well as in the past.
The first "side," Side Rock, takes a straightforward approach, dealing
mostly in 70s hard rock (with the exception of the rather pop-oriented "On
the Waterfront"). I could have done without the opener's bow to AC/DC, but
things kick into gear with the bombastic "Showtime." Whether tapping blues
rock or glam or something in between, the Treat show clearly that they can
rock in a way that brings the past alive.
Side Acoustic is broader than the name suggests, dabbling in acoustic
psychedelia as much as folk or blues. Syd Barrett and Led Zeppelin make
their mark on the side's best cuts, which far outshine the weak,
meandering "Sweet Jasmine."
On Side Electric, they take another stab at hard rock with the heavier
"Massive Attack" and the edgier, bluesier "Anger Management." With the
exception of the psyche trippiness of "Silent Voices," this is ground
largely covered by Side Rock, only amped up a bit.
Side Experiment is a bit of a misnomer as experiemntation isn't really
what the Treat is about. These "experiments" are more about reliving the
experimental music of the late 60s rather than reliving its experimental
spirit. Still, there are some fine detours into psyche, funk and early
prog even if nothing really goes out on a limb.
The Treat essentially attack their music in detail on Audio Verité/Deceptive
Blends and that does a better job of illustrating their skill than it
does of making a great album. Even if they prove their point on all four
counts, which is questionable at times, my head understands it better than
my heart...and that is the album's principle flaw.
'One of an up and coming crop of
...mind blowing bands delivering the goods in spades' - Classic Rock
power pop to the edges of heavy metal in considerable style...an accomplished piece of
work from the Oxford based trio' - Rock'n'Reel
'Phonogrphy...demonstrates a new level of maturity'
- Classic Rock Society Magazine
'One of the best albums of the year'
- Let it Rock
'An excellent overall package that hits
the spot' -Terrascope
‘Phonography ....shows how a classic
hard rock album should sound and look in 2008'’ - Metal Revolution
'With a catchy tune like 'Roaming', the
band has a hit on their hands!' - Strutter 77
'The music has a far greater range, and
as a whole the album is better produced showing a real maturity' -Room
'These rockers have the talent for
writing good songs' - Metal to Infinity
‘The Treat not only incorporate a lot of
British rock styles from the late 60s and early 70s, but they manage to do it
seamlessly and make it fresh, drawing on everything from the raw bluesiness of
Led Zeppelin to the grandiose prog of Genesis’ - RNRN
'A treat for all vintage rock fans'
- Metal Perspective
'The Treat have delivered an imaginative
collection of styles and influences ...re-writing it and adding some
freshness...and pieced it together in their own way'. -Blogcritics
'There’s plenty to enjoy here from a band who clearly know their way around a
melody & know how to incorporate a wide variety of styles' - DPRP
'Accomplished and engaging,
Phonography is fresh and familiar all at once' - The Big Takeover
'Phonography' is a belter, the more I
play it the more I like it' -Jon Wisbey (The BCFM Rock Show)
'The album just seems to get better with
each listen!' - Paul Baker (Soundscapes, ARFM)
'wow!' - Richard Allen (DJ
Magazine Programme on hearing an advance copy of ‘PHONOGRAPHY’)
PHONOGRAPHY : Top 3
best album of 2008
THE TREAT's 'Phonography' album
has been voted in the Top 3 best albums of 2008 by the BCFM Rock Show. DJ Jon
Wisbey has been playing THE TREAT on a regular basis over the past year on his
show, broadcast from Bristol, in the UK. The album was voted third best (bronze
medal) album by a panel of judges who had this to say about THE TREAT & the 'Phonography'
'An interesting band'
'Good, no nonsense rock songs
in that good old fashioned way'
'Great musicianship, reminds me
in place of early Iron Maiden'
'This album spins tales of war
& life with great lyrics'
'There are lots of influences
mixed here into a great, listenable whole, with a neat and tidy production'
'This album has a highly
distinctive guitar sound'
'This doesn't sound like any
other so-called indie rock band I've heard, around at the moment'
'Looking at the album artwork,
the singer looks like he's entering a Liam Gallagher lookalike contest. However,
thank God, that's where the similarity ends'
'They're a great band'
Full Reviews Below
REVIEW IN TimeMazine Issue #4
THE TREAT - Phonography 2008 (CD Rockular Recordings)
The Treat are coming from Oxford, England and they claim to be the UK’s best new
Progressive/Psychedelic/New Classic Hard Rock band! I don’t know if this is true
but I can assure you that the guys are really great musicians with great skills
in composing and performing the music they like. There is plenty of ‘garbage’
from the new Brit rock scene that hits the charts and the radio, but the true
rock ‘n’ roll is coming from these guys and their 2nd release “Phonography”
sounds really fresh and quite imaginative. The sound is guitar based (“Fanfare
for the King”), sometimes dark (“Effervescence”) sometimes more melodic
(“Erased”) while the progressive elements are giving it a more 70s oriented
feeling (“Bolivian Diary”, “Clutching at Jagged Glass”). Sometimes they flirt
with 80s FM rock (“Roaming”, “Too Late”) and sometimes they add a
psychedelic/progressive feeling to their songs (“Meadowland”). “Haitian morning
Dress” is a cool blues number with slide guitar. Such a variety! The production
is really good. This is their 2nd album (the 1st “In Technicolor” was released
in 2004 and they have a new comer “Audio Verite/Deceptive Blends” released
summer 2009) and so far The Treat have earned praise from critics, magazines and
radio stations. It’s time for you to discover them! TLM
featured THE TREAT as one of a new crop of up and coming progressive bands to
watch in the August 2008 issue of the magazine. They included the track
Meadowland on the cover mount CD & printed the piece below.
The Treat’s second album Phonography looks set to
consolidate their growing reputation as accomplished
musicians and gifted songwriters. The Oxford band
have an eclectic approach to making music, effortlessly
blending various genres while forging their own unique
identity. Their love of psychedelic is hinted at
throughout Phonography, particularly on the acoustic-
flavoured Meadowland - not to mention the album cover
artwork which, they claim, is as extravagant as any late
60s/early 70s album sleeve.
Taken from Phonography, On Rockular Recordings
it’s only Xerox ‘n’ roll.
Belying their instrumental limitations,
Oxford three piece The Treat have
Created an idiosyncratic album full of
Numerous twists and turns.Socio-
Political commentary is the name of
The game on tearaway tracks such as
Fanfare For The King
digging for black gold to grease his
own machine’) and
Parties, which is
‘dedicated to the two
B’s - how can you sleep?’
can assume they’re not referring to
Elsewhere Bolivian Diary is a
Deceptively jaunty ode to Che
Meadowland (a track on last issue’s
free prog CD) is a clever critique of the
urbanisation of Britain’s countryside
that name checks nursery-rhyme
characters (‘If Doctor Foster goes to
Gloucester/He’ll step in a pool of acid
rain’); and Black Cat Whites is a
madcap Syd Barrett-esque ode to an
extremely fat feline.
THE TREAT’s second album
power-pop to the edges of heavy
metal in considerable. Firmly
rooted in the hard blues, rock and
psychedelic of the late 60s and early
70s, Phonography is nevertheless an
accomplished piece of work from
the Oxford-based trio.
21 April 2009
by frontperson MIKE HYDER, THE TREAT plays
guitar rock. That sounds a little too plain and simple, admittedly, but it’s
accurate. If it’s a rock-related style powered by sounds coming out of six
strings on a piece of wood – blues rock, folk rock, power pop, prog rock, hard
rock – this Oxford-based trio incorporates it. Phonography, the
band’s second album, could have ended up as a headache-inducing hodgepodge of
style-hopping genre exercises. But thanks to Hyder’s consistency as a writer,
guitarist and singer, tracks as superficially diverse as the hard rocking
“Fanfare For the King,” the pop-minded “Roaming” and the storytelling
“Bolivian Diary” sound of a piece with each other and the rest of the record.
Accomplished and engaging, Phonography is fresh and familiar all at
rock & roll
The Treat - Phonography
|Country of Origin:
|Year of Release:
Tracklist: Fanfare For The King (5:41), Make You Crawl (3:36), The
Deathday Parties (3:22), Bolivian Diary (4:30), Roaming (2:55), Meadowland
(3:32), Haitian Mourning Dress (2:54), Too Late (4:37), Clutching At Jagged
Glass (3:53), Effervescence (4:12), Black Cat Whites (1:59), Erased (5:55)
The Treat, a three piece band from Oxford, show themselves to be a
power trio in the traditional sense, the pure joy of making music with guitar
bass and drums shining through. The first couple of tracks on this, their second
album, sees the band drinking from the same musical well as the pioneering late
60’s early 70’s UK hard rock acts who used traditional blues as a base for
exploring new territories; Fanfare For The King kicks things off with
confidence, with a great lead guitar fanfare and a rollicking verse which echoes
Black Sabbath’s classic Paranoid, whilst Make You Crawl has
a swagger and groove that reminds one of early Led Zeppelin. Band main
man Mike Hyder’s deep, gritty voice has a hint of Ian Gillan to it, which
only emphasises the connection to the period. Yet Make You Crawl also
nods towards a harder, alternative rock sound reminiscent of Soundgarden,
which starts to hint at the variety of sounds and influences which The Treat
proceed to, err, treat us to over the fifty-odd minutes of this disc.
At one extreme we have the hard-edged, politically charged Bolivian Diary,
at the other the melodic indie rock of the world weary closer Erased; in
between we get the band’s take on traditional blues (Haitian Mourning Dress),
edgy new wave (Clutching At Jagged Glass) and Faces-like mod rock,
complete with rollicking piano and Hammond (Too Late).
Of most interest to readers of this site will be the tracks which show
Hyder’s clear love of Syd Barrett – Meadowland (a gentle, hazy track
which could have come from one of Barrett’s solo efforts, and also nods to
Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake-era Small Faces) and Black Cat Whites
(which echoes Floyd’s Bike a little too closely) – and the
instrumental Effervescence, which with its flute work, pastoral guitar
jangle and fluidity evokes the spirit of classic English prog bands such as
Camel and Caravan.
Overall, not every song is a cracker and The Treat occasionally struggle to
come out from the shadows of the bands who clearly influence them, but there’s
plenty to enjoy here from a band who clearly know their way around a melody,
know how to incorporate a wide variety of styles without seeming disjointed and
certainly seem to be enjoying themselves. Kudos to whoever designed the great
cover too, which compliments the album’s contents perfectly.
Conclusion: 7 out of 10
Review: The Treat - Phonography
On Phonography, the Treat not only incorporate a lot of British
rock styles from the late 60s and early 70s, but they manage to do it
seamlessly and make it fresh. They draw on everything from the raw
bluesiness of Led Zeppelin to the grandiose prog of Genesis. Starting off
an album with as much bombast as "Fanfare for a King," sets high
expectations. In this game, there isn't much room between perfection and
silliness and there's no doubt that the Treat are over the top, but what
they pull off over the course of the album is rivaled today perhaps only
The 70s are a curious time in rock history. In the wake of the
Beatles-inspired experimentation of the late 60s, a lot of the music began
trading its youthful energy for big, fat bombast. So often bands that
rehash the 70s fail to correct that problem (and exacerbate it instead),
but The Treat tap into only the very best and re-energize it. I can
imagine a song like "Too Late," their homage to the Who and Faces,
fizzling in the hands of the average purveyor of nostalgia despite being a
fantastic song. But The Treat do more than just remake the sounds of the
past, they relive them. And they live such a broad range too. They
follow up "Too Late" by taking on King Crimson and Genesis. Earlier they
live up to Sabbath and Cream and later to Traffic. "Black Cat Whites"
jumps back and forth between Syd Barrett and Sweet without missing a beat.
It just shows how good a handle they have on the music they love.
Their influences are a who's who of great British rock. Though they do
occasionally slip into AOR flatness (for a few moments here and there, not
for a few songs), but it's their energy and love that makes the album so
exciting. Phonography does pretend that nothing has happened since
1975, but that's not the end of the story. Whether you like Zeppelin or
Genesis, Cream or Procol Harem, Jethro Tull or Traffic, Syd Barrett or
Sweet, the Who or Queen (I could really just keep going), the Treat has a
reinterpretation that is more appreciation than copy.
If you're curious about my rating categories, read the
Satriani - This category is based solely on technical ability
and no one illustrates technical ability and absolutely nothing else
better than Joe Satriani.
Zappa - This category is for innovation. In order to score high
here, an artist must be successfully pushing musical or performance
limits. Unlike Zappa, this won't always correlate to technical skill, but
I felt he was the best choice for pure innovation.
*** It is important to note that the Zappa scale is different from the
other three. For instance, a 1 on the Aretha scale would be "no soul." On
the Zappa scale, a 1 would be a lot of innovation, but the innovation
would be entirely bad. No innovation at all would be a 5. So, in a sense,
it starts at 5 and goes in a negative or positive direction while the
others start at 1 and only increase.
Dylan - This one is just about the songwriting. An artist could
score high here and do a terrible job of performing their own great song.
Dylan couldn't sing, but when he was on, he sure could write.
Aretha - Who better to represent soul than the Queen of Soul
herself. However, don't be confused by the terminology, because this
doesn't refer to Soul Music, but the soul of the music or
its truth (even if that truth is just about good times).
The overall rating will not just be an average of these four categories,
but it will be based on them. I'm not going to disclose the formula,
because it may need to be tweaked as I go. Besides, anyone who loves rock
and roll should know which is most important.
Music Review: The Treat - Phonography
Oxford is not only the city of dreaming spires it is also the home of
the rock band The Treat. The three piece rock outfit released their first
album In Technicolour in 2004. It was, in many ways, a straight
ahead rock album with its feet set firmly in the classic heavy rock era of
the late sixties and early seventies. Now they bring us Phonography
(Rockular Recordings 2008) and it is clear that some changes have been
The Treat have taken a broader look at the troubled world and have
become more outwardly political. Whilst not turning away from the classic
driving rock of days gone by, they have added more dimension and texture
resulting in a heady mix of styles.
The result is Phonography and it opens with a, recurring,
mystical eastern tinge before opening up into the stomping “Fanfare For
The King”. This is near ‘time warp’ stuff not only paying homage to the
classic rock era but actually re-writing it and adding some freshness.
This is clearly a band that has something to say and this track has lyrics
that cut to the bone. “Make You Crawl” has a whole cross section of
influences with touches of Queens Of The Stone Age, amongst others. Yet,
it has that heavy rock vibe from the early seventies as an irresistible
undercurrent. Michael Hyder sings just within his limits and the threesome
generate an admirable degree of power.
“Deathday Parties” is again cuttingly direct ‘there is a reason for
this season of pain, and all your illusions will bring you only shame’.
The highly effective “Bolivian Diary”, for me a clear highlight, has a
revolutionary theme while generating a depth of sound that shows this band
grew up absorbing classic rock like a sponge. “Roaming” takes us towards,
but not quite into, radio friendly territory. Clearly recognizing a good
melody when they write it, they are not afraid to build upon it.
“Meadowland” shifts an acoustic gear down with a well worked statement
about urban sprawl. Combining children’s nursery rhymes in with the edge
of what the song says creates a good counter-balance.
A sudden right turn takes us into, “Haitian Mourning Dress”, which
drips traditional blues and sits high within the set. The Treat return to
classic rock with “Too Late” complete with swirling keys. “Clutching At
Jagged Glass” takes us off in a whole host of different directions with a
near progressive and edgy feel, which successfully emphasises the word
‘jagged’. Next we are into the psychedelic with the atmospheric and
dramatic instrumental, “Effervescence”. Maybe the word ‘effervescence’,
(“Effervescent Elephant”), hints at the Syd Barrett, “Bike”, styled
opening to the following song, “Black Cat Whites”.
Having got the fixation that no-one can write like Syd out of my mind
it does highlight the character of the band and how they have mopped up
music and pieced it together in their own way. When the track opens out it
begins to grow on you. All this leads to a rather disappointing “Erased”
that rounds the album off. It’s a strong well written song with plenty of
potential but on this cut it misses something.
The Treat have knocked on enough doors and delivered an imaginative
collection of styles and influences. Rooted firmly in the music of past
generations it is served up with huge dollops of personality. It will be
interesting to see where they take it all from here.
The Treat's Official Web Site for
newsand information on the band.
Keep reading for information and comments on this article, and add some
feedback of your own!
|Metal Perspective Review
The Treat - "Phonography"
[Rockular Recordings, 2007]
01. Fanfare for the King
02. Make You Crawl
03. The Deathday Parties
04. Bolivian Diary
07. Haitian Mourning Dress
08. Too Late
09. Clutching at Jagged Glass
11. Black Cat Whites
13. The Wedge
The Treat come from Oxford, England and "Phonography"
is their second release. They seem to belong to the same
league with The Answer and Voodoo Six in terms of common
influences (70s driven hard rock), however they are not as
one-dimensional as their colleagues. The classic rock sound
of Uriah Heep, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple may be their
musical keystone, yet they don't confine themselves to it.
The first two tracks is the living proof of how Soundgarden
would sound if they were releasing albums in the early
seventies and The Byrds would be proud to call them their
sons on "Meadowland". There's also some pure blues dose on
"Haitian Morning Dress" that's being accompanied by some
Cream hints (or Rod Stewart's Maggie May if I dare to say
this) on "Too Late", which by the way is certainly one of my
favorite songs. Wait, the painting hasn't been completed
yet. 60s psychedelic progressive springs from
"Effervescence" and "Black Cat Whites", which blends Gong
with Zappa, to assure us that The Treat have a treat for all
vintage rock fans out there. This fact is proven also by the
cover artwork, the booklet (lyrics included) and even by the
disc appearance that is very similar to Decca logo used for
classical music releases. There is of course an indie
direction on a couple of songs, something unnecessary and
boring in my opinion.
Overall, seems they have absorbed their
influences and, even though this multidimensional sound of
theirs might have caused trouble regarding the cohesiveness
of the final result, however they managed to avoid the trap.
I think that time is on their side and the future prospects
are quite promising.
Reviewer: Stefanos Lountzis
Dom Lash (Bass, Keyboards)
'Purple' David Hart (Drums, Tabla, Bass Clarinet)
In Technicolor 
Written by Celtic Bob
Friday, 13 June 2008
2008, Rockular Recordings
From out of the UK come The Treat with their
sophomore release. PHONOGRAPHY is the follow-up to 2004’s IN TECHNICOLOR
which received some fantastic reviews.
Sounding like Daltry of The Who at times,
singer Michael Hyder hold’s his own. His smooth voice mixed with the
acoustic guitar and mid tempo songs sets the apart from the other “The”
bands. Upon receiving this release I was expecting your typical “The”
indie rock band music but I was pleasantly surprised. The music is good
and very enjoyable and has received countless spins on player thus far.
A few of the standout songs include “Reaming”, “Meadowland” and “Too
Check these guy’s out as they will be big
sooner rather than later.
THE TREAT -
METAL TO INFINITY
The booklet shows this CD isn't a Metal CD. Nevertheless we, from Metal To
Infinity, are feeling the need for making a review about this release. I was
critical at first but I admit this is a surprising CD.
To be honest this is a flexible trio of musicians who invited some guest
musicians for these recordings. Their classic rock reminds me most of all to a
more rocking and less Metal kind of Tesla or AC/DC. These lads surely know the
history of Rock because also The Beatles and Pink Floyd seemed to be a source of
inspiration. On some songs I even hear some grungy parts, like we heard tons of
times before in the early nineties.
With only a few chords these guys wrote 'easy on the hear' music, sometimes a
bit experimental, on other moments 'poppy' or even 'bluesy'. Sliding guitars are
often heard and these rockers have for sure the talent for writing good songs.
Don't expect finger fast guitars or devastating riffs but prepare for varied and
even intelligent compositions with only a little bit of distortion on the
guitars. In my opinion The Treat is a bunch of alternative guys who are honoring
their idols from their youth years and far beyond. No, these guys have no
original ideas but who are we, Metal heads, to criticize it because also our
scene counts plenty of clones.
'Effervescence' for example is a very strong track with multiple varied
elements, a 'free rocking' spirit and outstanding musicianship. No doubts these
guys know how to play their instruments! I have the feeling, although I don't
know these guys, they will not care about bad reviews and they shouldnet. The
Treat needs to be proud on this release but they should also try to search their
Michael Hyder, guitarist and singer, is a talented man, even an artist. He has a
good voice, wide raging and strong enough. His guitar parts will not blow you
away but will, instead, often make you quiet because theyere played with a lot
of feeling. The band also makes use of some classical instruments like the
flute, harmonica and clarinet and as usual that gives a special effect if
therees no exaggerating.
Pure Metal Heads, who keep on denying all other music genres, shouldnet spend
their money on this record. Open minded music fans, interested in some tentative
Rock, should really give The Treat a chance because Iem sure there will be no
disappointment.. My Points: 80/100 (review by Officer
CD - Phonography
Play 90 second soundbite of 'Make You Crawl' @ 'CD
In this indie age it would be all too easy to put The Treat into the indie
pigeonhole! But, The Treat are more than just indie, The Treat shouldn't be
tarnished with that 'get out' classification - The Treat probably nestle
somewhere in the soft to heavy rock side of things and at times verge on the
'progressive' and occasionally drop into 'blues' mode. Typically British in feel
and musical demeanour, The Treat play mature, cultivated rock for the more
Throughout this pretty epically sized album, all thirteen tracks of it,
there's a feeling of empathetic unity and hard-nosed experience; the sound is
solid but never nerve-jangling, the music is maturely crafted and superbly
structured and The Treat give off an feeling of total professionalism and
confidence without ever sounding cocky. The Treat sound as if they've been
around the block a bit and learned a thing or three. 'Phonography' leaves me
with a feeling that I've just been 'touched' by a more worthy entity - The Treat
sound familiarly unfamiliar like I've known them for years when in fact this is
my first encounter!
'Phonography' by The Treat is a very polished piece, an accomplished piece of
work; there's plenty of variation here to keep the interest levels high, lots of
light and shade to keep you 'on your toes'. Although The Treat mix it up pretty
well here and offer something for almost everyone, they don't actually go
anywhere totally new or 'uncharted' - there's nothing obviously innovative,
experimental or professionally 'dangerous' here, just loads of subtle and very
interesting genre-melding that sets them apart from the indie and rock 'norm'.
Hey, that's fine, in fact it's quite cool coz The Treat stay nicely within the
bounds of reality, they remain totally believable and quite tangible. What The
Treat do, they do bloody well and 'Phonography' is an impressive and
accomplished album that's easy to enjoy and a real worker that slowly grows on
you with repeat listens.
'Phonography' kinda puts me in mind of all that was good about 70's prog rock
- very early Genesis, Jethro Tull, Caravan, that kinda thing but obviously with
a modern twist - now that can't be bad can it!! The Treat have impressed me no
end with 'Phonography' - this is a big album from a hefty outfit that pack quite
a punch when they need to but can also do subtle and understated. 'Phonography'
by The Treat is a slightly unusual beast - just different enough to stand out
from the crowd but never straying too far from safety!! The more I hear, the
more I like - very very tasty, very very enjoyable - quite a cracker actually!!!
No, I lie, it's better than that - it's a little beauty!!
Peter J Brown aka toxic pete (www.toxicpete.co.uk)
‘PHONOGRAPHY’ (ROCKULAR RECORDINGS)
THE TREAT from the UK are all about Classic Rock, with their
debut CD sounding very close to bands like UFO, URIAH HEEP, THIN LIZZY, DEEP
PURPLE in the 1970s. ‘In Technicolor’ was the band’s debut album, released in
2004 and it seems like now is the right time to release a follow-up, which
musically should also interest fans of bands like FOO FIGHTERS, THE DARKNESS,
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, THE ANSWER, WOLFMOTHER, because THE TREAT has a sound
not far removed from such popular bands. 11 tracks are included and most of them
are pure uptempo 70s Hardrocksongs, with here and there an exception (“The
deathday parties”), but overall sounding quite close to the URIAH HEEP of the
1970s, with some DEEP PURPLEish influences and also TRAPEZE, MOTT THE HOOPLE and
WILD HORSES and such typical 70s British Rock comes to mind when listening to
THE TREAT. With a catchy tune like “Roaming” the band has a hit on their hands!
Definitely a great band to check out, highly recommended to fans of Classic 70s
British Rock/Hardrock. More info at:
(Points: 8.0 out of 10)
(Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem)
THE TREAT -
|As retro as it sounds, it's all about
the future sounds.
Four years on since their spectacular
Oxford trio might be in the same place geographically, but they've moved on
music-wise. While most of the modern rock crop take on the superficial gloss
of the '70s, this bunch dig deeper to the basics: the opening Eastern-flavored
motif captures a listener by the throat before dipping into the swampy
riffage of "Fanfare For The King" with a neat neo-classic lace woven into
its fabrics. But even this doesn't prepare the ears for the "Haitian Morning
Dress" pure, harmonica-oiled country blues as well as for vibrant
The song titles say it all: with all the seriousness of the music, the
humor pumps the gears here, but there's no showing-off from the band leader
Michael Hyder who sets a perfect gutar-and-voice unison in the edgy "Make
You Crawl" and has a good time in the infectious romp of "Roaming", it's the
old-school lessons learnt-well and re-imagined for the new age, and what a
groover the dynamics-exploring "Bolivian Diary" is! Growing on with every
spin, "Phonography" is one of the best albums of the year.
Let It Rock
who enjoy the moment in time when beat became psych should certainly find much
to savour on ‘Phonography’, the new album from The Treat. Opening with a
heavy eastern-sounding riff, ‘Fanfare for the King’ kicks things off
magnificently before ‘Make You Crawl’ displays defiantly beat tendencies in its
riffery. Thing continue in a similar vein until ‘Meadowland’ shifts gears, a
gentle psych nursery rhyme with a fine arrangement. From here on in the album
gets more varied with some fine freakout guitar on ‘Effervescence’ the icing on
the cake, although the short but wonderful ‘Black Cat Whites ‘ deserves a
mention too. The cover pushes all the right buttons as well making for an
excellent overall package that hits the spot. (www.thetreat.co.uk)
This review was
published in Rumbles for November 2007 and was brought to you by Simon
Lewis. Artwork, layout & editing: Phil McMullen. © Terrascope Online 2007
Treat - Phonography
Buy a copy of Treat - Phonography
Find out more about Treat
Mon Nov 26 21:57:31 2007
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Rated 11 out of 13 [details]
by Jim Ody
reviews by this writer.
Oxford's hard rocking band, The Treat, come storming out with what is the
usual 'awkward second album' after their great debut, 'In Technicolor' a couple
of years back. 'Phonography' is a good follow up album, and when you have
already delivered a musically strong debut, it's difficult to know what to do
next. Do you follow the same formula with another ten hard-rocking '70's
influenced classic rock tracks, or do you branch out and take a few risks? This
is obviously a questioned that came rather easily to Mike Hyder, who is not only
the singer but the driving force behind the band.
First song, 'Fanfare For The King' has an extremely long intro, which is a theme
that tends to run through this album. Sometimes you wish bands would just get on
with the song, however in this case it only adds to the charm of the band. This
is a band that tips it's hat off to classic guitar-led rock of the '70's and
'80's, and in the first song it kicks into a very Black Sabbath-esque stomper,
with thick guitar riffs and a slight Ozzy-like vocal. The beat speeds up a bit
more for the more stoner rock song, 'Make You Crawl' that nods it's head towards
the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age mixed with Soundgarden. 'The Deathday
Parties' has a nipple-hardening good beat whilst the song is a slower and more
Mike's vocals turn very Robert Plant in, 'Bolivian Diary' that is pure Led
Zeppelin whilst being sprinkled with political and socially aware lyrics.
'Roaming' is one of those songs that is simple but very successful. With it's
keyboards and melodic guitars it's an instantly likeable song and one of the
strongest here, which just goes to show that amongst all of the technically
superior songs that have been layered and well crafted, it is the simplistic
melodies and happy-go-lucky feel that makes this song so strong.
Next we have a song that I am undecided on whether it is a very good song or a
big and unsuccessful risk. It's an acoustic song called, 'Meadowland'which has
clever lyrics surrounding famous characters from nursery rhymes being stuck into
days world. Like, " There was an old woman that lived in a shoe // She had so
many bills, she didn't know what to do // Developers came and bought her home //
Now her memories are rubble and stone" sings Mike. Things then turn to classic
old school blues for 'Haitian Mourning Dress', and although the song is
adequate, the problem that I have with lot of blues music is that it sometimes
sounds like my old walkman when the batteries were on their way out. It's a slow
plod of a song that is pure blues by numbers, and possibly nothing more.
The tempo raises up with the shuck and jive of 'Too Late' which is a little like
The Black Crowes, before the chunky guitar riffs of 'Clutching At Jagged Glass'
which is more like the band Clutch with added psychedelic breaks.
'Effervescence' is a chilled out mid-tempo instrumental before the no brainer
and slightly bizarre song about the singers cat in, 'Black Cat Whites' which is
a little bit like The Eels doing a slow Zeppelin before quick riff-ridden
flashes of pure rock heaven. Again it's another of those songs that I'm left
wondering whether or not it is a good idea. Apparently this was included to give
a lyrical balance, though I'm not sure that it is more a case of over
self-indulgence. The low and more rounded song of 'Erased' finishes up the
It's clear that with this second album, The Treat, have looked to break out of
the box exploring a little more musically and stretching their wings to be a
little more than a Led Zeppelin wannabe band. The music has a fair greater
range, and as a whole the album is better produced showing a real maturity. The
Treat know that they will never be a fashionable band, but it's clear that that
is something that Mike has never cared much for as he travels on his musical
journey stopping of to take in the sights of other genres periodically.
Anyone who loved 'In Technicolor' will not be disappointed, and along the way 'Phonography'
is likely to pick up more than a couple of new fans. It's a good slice of
classic rock and that can never be a bad thing.
01 - Fanfare For The King
02 - Make You Crawl
03 - The Deathday Parties
04 - Bolivian Diary
05 - Roaming
06 - Meadowland
07 - Haitian Mourning Dress
08 - Too Late
09 - Clutching At Jagged Glass
10 - Effervescence
11 - Black Cat Whites
12 - Erased
2007, Oxford trio, The Treat, have released their sophomore album, Phonography.
This is the first Treat album that I have listened to, so I wasn’t sure what
kind of sound to expect by this band. The Treat’s sound appears to be heavily
influenced by 70’s hard rock. I can hear elements of Deep Purple,
Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd in the music.
As you can tell by the song titles, the song writing on this disc is much
more than just your typical subject matter of sex, drugs and rock and roll.
This disc requires a few listens before you can fully absorb what you are
I struggled with some songs, and others proved to get a little better with
successive plays. Make You Crawl, and Too Late,
are my favorite cuts, but those were the only ones that I could truly get
There have been quite a few newer bands adopting a 70’s hard rock sound,
including the Answer, Thieves and Liars, Glyder and Wolfmother. The Treat’s
Phonography lacks the polish that so many of the newer classic sounding bands
have. For this listener, quite a few of the tunes on Phonography sound too
dated. For some people, this will not be a problem. 70’s die hard rock fans
will certainly enjoy this disc a little more than I did.
The Treat shows potential with this release, but Phonography isn’t going to
set the world on fire.
You can check out several of the cuts below. You can purchase
Phonography, at this link.
Fanfare For the King
Make You Crawl
3. The Deathday Parties
4. Bolivian Diary
7. Haitian Morning Dress
9. Clutching At Jagged Glass
11. Black Cat Whites
13. Track 13
The Treat is:
Mike Hyder - Guitars/Lead Vocals
Dom Lash - Bass/Keyboards
David Hart - Drums
by Rob Rockitt on July 2, 2008
THE TREAT –
Review by Deb
This was weird
with a capital ‘W’.
guitarist must be commended for is commanding performance throughout this album,
along with his band mates for their precise delivery, excellent heavy bass and
powerful vocals which were far from ‘normal’ and displayed with versatile pitch
and tone change.
elements of emo and classic rock, with a modern twist I would attribute to the
less than run of the mill vocal style. Delivery is clean and clear, vocals are
cocky and confident, and the guitar solos are mind blowing, until you get to the
track entitled ‘Deathday Parties’, where the album starts to go a bit pear
shaped. ‘Phonography’ loses momentum at this point, slows down quite
dramatically and the vocals begin to drawl. Then we begin to climb again (bit
like the Pepsi Max, this…) with ‘Bolivian Diary’ , which contains lots of sound
effects, and some very twisted vocals – quite fast paced, with a blues
overtone. By now, the album had become more upbeat again, with a poppy overtone
and cringing karaoke lyrics – exit the rock elements, enter an average,
mainstream sound. ‘Meadowland’ then took this in another direction, and it all
got positively weird, with sparse, strumming guitar and vocals that sounded like
Murdoch from the A-Team when he does his posh voice, and he’s singing about
Nursery Rhyme characters…….. This was bizarre, to say the least, but there was
more strangeness to come. ‘Haitian Morning Dress’ was a country and western
disaster song, with lyrics that were very fucking strange, ‘Clutching at Jagged
Glass’ had great pace, but the chorus sent it all wobbly, ‘Effervescence’ was an
instrumental with loads of flute playing – what the fuck is going on ??????
Then we get to
the song about cats. Yes, you just read that right – cats. At this point, the
vocalist is sounding positively eccentric, like he needs locking up, but then
suddenly turns into a male Suzi Quattro, and then quickly back to Mr Insano.
Twelve tracks of
head frying madness. Make of it what you will……
"Infectious, arresting pop-tinged hard rock with a dose of the
blues. A remarkable proposition".- Martin
Popoff (Author ’Top 500 HM Songs of All Time')
debut album, In Technicolor, does not simply evoke general comparisons to
the gods of classic rock -– it is classic rock, direct and unmitigated. -
Ink19 (Florida, USA)
“It sounds fresh & completely different from anything in the
UK” - Strutter (Holland)
a breath of the fresh stuff to have a band that play music straight from the
heart, tapped directly into the real roots of rock....they have bundles of
integrity for classic rock, and Lord, do they play it well!" - Room Thirteen (UK)
“Full marks for non-stop energy and enthusiasm. 2004’s answer
to the Darkness” - Oxford Courier (UK)
"A cross between Zeppelin and The Clash, not only in terms of
style, but also in it's depth. Unlike many modern bands, The Treat know a way
with a melody" - Let It Rock (Israel)
“This is bloody brilliant ! The epitome of "driving music". If
you're ever on the road, this is one of the albums to have blasting out the open
window" - Daily Vault (USA/Canada)
"A competent band with much to recommend. Tracks such as the pacey, straightforward
rock of 'Burnin'', The pumping pace of 'Rock You', and the excellent head
bobbing 'Let's Get Beautiful', show a style and maturity that point to good
things ahead for the band".
commendable start...well worth checking out'.
Rock Something (UK)
bravery of sound and one hundred percent rock'n'roll attitude make The Treat
look like no other hard rock band".
- Metal Kings (Russia)
these tunes rolling through my head all day" - Music Mayhem (USA)
“A ten track slab of tough guitars, and catchy melodies“ - Oxford Mail (UK)
“Classic hard rock elements, with a fresh & modern sound. An
album that will lift your spirits from the moment you press ‘play’” - Rock Pages (Greece)
"Consistently stylistic with their music, mixing Led Zep and Van Halen
influences with pop-rock writing to create a great rock album" - This Is Not TV (Manchester, UK)
is dirty, greasy, beer sodden sore-throat-in the-morning rock & roll man!” - The Thread (New Zealand)
in the vein of AC/DC, with a little bit of the Beatles" - From The
is bright and spirited, with strong, clear vocals, reminiscent of the Stones at
their best. Bands like this exist to make you happy. They succeeded in my case” - Oxford Bands.Com (UK)
Stones than The Strokes or The Hives could muster" - Smother (USA)
"A solid basis, for forthcoming steps" -
"Amazing. This band is 99% of the time NWOBHM" - Georgios Sidiropoulos (Rock DJ, London,
songsters of music show to own enough personality to challenge the chart
champions of rock -The
Silent Scream (Italy)
Keep the great music coming! -
“The Treat” kick out cleanly
executed, tight fitting, classic rock but have added a modern style to it. -
Hard Rock House (UK)
Full Reviews Below
Treat - In Technicolour
Find out more about Treat
you can have between meals!
Wed Jan 11 05:02:05 2006
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reviews by this writer.
Despite my feelings towards Oxford United,
the city of Oxford is a nice place and The Zodiac is a great venue,
however Oxford band The Treat are, well to be quite frank, an audio
treat! With the airwaves still riding high on the popular trash of
recent guitar-lead indie it's like a breath of the fresh stuff to
have a band that play music straight from the heart, tapped directly
into the real roots of rock. Sometimes rock'n'roll, sometimes rhythm
and blues - The Treat deliver a rockin' good time!
First song 'Burning' starts off with a great classic rockin' riff a
little like AC/DC, however if I may be a little critical, for me,
Mike's vocals sound as though they need more 'umph' - by that I mean
it's almost like the sound is a little low and so he's not quite
bellowing out like a guy who's "Burning rock'n'roll" should!
There's something very Sixties about 'Don't Think Twice', which
sounds just right. Past single 'Agent 555' is a little Black Crows-esque,
which is always a bonus with me. Mike's voice sounds at its
strongest when singing the original r'n'b - the one that doesn't
feature scantily clad dark skinned females shakin' their booties,
which isn't to say that I am not averse to listening to said music
nor depriving myself of such viewing pleasures.
The album's anthem song 'Rock You' has chugging guitars and more
than one opportunity to raise your fists and yell! 'Let's Get
Beautiful' has Poison riffs and a party-rock feel even mentioning
rock lines like, "Let's do the rattlesnake shake!" Pure genius.
'Silver Eye' nods its head towards Led Zepplin with its psychedelic
rock and hallucinogenic lyrics guaranteed to have you swaying from
side to side or tapping your feet. The 70's classic rock moment near
the end is purely majestic. This may not be an original sound but
hats off to Mike Hyder, Bassist Andy Sutton and the drumming skills
of John Halliday, this is what music is all about.
'The Hunger' sounds almost a little like Blind Melon, and
'Nightclubbing' could well be Soundgarden doing a Zepplin tribute.
Having already spent 8 consecutive weeks as the best album in London
Skywave Radio's chart, it's easy to see the appeal for some of that
classic rock sound to be brought back to life again.
The Treat will not be groundbreaking, and they may not be cool,
they have bundles of is integrity for classic rock, and Lord, do
they play it well! So raise your fist and get ready to strum your
air guitar, those great days are back again, and this time it's a
01 - Burnin'
02 - Don't Think Twice
03 - Agent 555
04 - Rock You
05 - Let's Get Beautiful
06 - 24/7
07 - Silver Eye
08 - The Hunger
09 - Nightclubbing
10 - Hypertonic
The Treat -'In Technicolor'
"A strange, entirely unique mix between the NWOBHM and The
Darkness. Infectious, arresting pop-tinged hard rock with a dose of the blues. A
remarkable proposition, The Treat sound like a NWOBHM band with pop
(Author : The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs Of All Time)
THE TREAT ‘IN TECHNICOLOR’ (ROCKULAR RECORDINGS)
The UK was always very important
in the Hardrock/Metalscene, but ever since the early 1990s it
seemed like there wasn’t any good new band coming from the UK. The 1990s were a
when it comes to good quality British bands, and in 2003 we even got a very
average band called
THE DARKNESS who went onto having huge success, although they had a singer who
can not sing! In these desperate times you are longing back to the early 1980s
when thousands of
new NWOBHM bands came to the scene, and only MAIDEN, SAXON and TYGERS OF PAN
TANG survived the 2 following decades. Anyway, now there’s a new band called THE
they play a mix of early 80s NWOBHM, Melodic Rock and Poprock. It sounds fresh
different than anything else in the UK. Without a doubt, this sounds much better
DARKNESS. The lead singer can sing and the songs are catchy, with as highlights
melodic rockers like “Burnin’”, “Rock you”, “24/7” and “The hunger”. Finally, a
good new band from
the UK, let’s hope they will get some attention from the British media, and turn
one of the above
mentioned songs into a huge hit. Almost forget to mention that the band in
general reminds me of
the early 80s UK acts DEADRINGER, NIGHTWING, RAGE, GEORDIE and EXPORT, so you
know a bit what to expect from this little band.
(Points: 8.0 out of 10)
Gabor Kleinbloesem Strutter (Holland)
THE TREAT -
Rockular Recordings 2003
Treat yourself to some colourful rock : complicated it ain't.
It takes three to do that, you know? What with the latest tendency of rocking
duos, they're more about pretension which leaves little space for real music and
humour, and the Oxford trio masters both. The artwork - even the CD itself
remindful of the Atlantic Records LP label - tells about the latter, while the
former, driven by Mike Hyder's guitar and voice, takes a listener on a mindtrip
to the times when rock 'n' roll was something primeval. Opening "Burnin'" is a
good specimen of it, a cross between ZEPPELIN and THE CLASH, not only in terms
of style, but also in it's depth. Unlike many modern bands, THE TREAT know a way
with a melody - a garagey way theirs may be, yet bubbling with the same mid-60's
energy that introduced technicolor to the sonic brew. "Hypertonic" lays it all
out in declarative detail, and single "Agent 555" has enough wah-wah in the solo
and vocal harmonies in the chorus to bite into the charts, so contract shouldn't
be too far away. That may mean an end to Hyder's Rockular Recordings
though.....but his combo deserve more.
**** (4 out of 5 stars)
Let It Rock (Israel)
HARD ROCK TREAT
Oxford-based rockers The Treat are celebrating the release of their debut
album this month.
Formed in 2001 by songwriter-guitarist Mike Hyder, the trio play
classic hard rock and indie anthems laced with killer hooks.
After circulating an excellent three-track demo among promoters, it wasn't
long before the band were gigging extensively across the country and playing
dates in prestigious London venues.
The Treat began this year with a live TV appearancre on Channel Six - The
Oxford Channel where they performed a staggering rendition of their first single
Amazingly, the band even found time to record at Shonk Studios in Bicester -
with ex-Candyskin John Halliday - and release the resulting album on their own
Featuring 'Don't Think Twice' , 'Rock You' and live favourite 'Silver Eye',
'In Technicolor' displays a diverse range of styles reflecting the band member's
eclectic tastes and backgrounds.
Together with drummer Mark Thomas and newly-recruited bassist Nuno Lourenco,
the band intend to embark on a winter promotional tour - with home dates
'In Technicolor' was made to be played loud and gets full marks for non-stop
energy and enthusiasm from us.
It is available now in all good record shops and more information on The
Treat can be found at
www.thetreat.co.uk. Check them out NOW, before they become 2004's
answer to The Darkness!
Oxford Courier (UK)
Rockular Records, 2003
Review by: Riley McDonald
Originally published: January 6, 2004
I'll admit I'm definitely not a fan of post-1992 rock n' roll,
but when I slid this CD into my walkman, I was taken aback. "This is bloody
brilliant!" I proclaimed, temporarily disrupting the English lesson. When the
teacher turned back to continue some gammer lesson-err-another, I returned to
this excellent British rock trio.
As soon as the opening drum beats, chords, and vocals kicked,
the first word that came to my head was "The" immediately followed by "Beatles."
The opening track ("Burnin'") was like a cooler, updated version of the rock
legends' magnum opus, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." All other tracks
on here are just as good, if not better, and the epitome of "driving music." If
you're ever on the road, this is one of the albums to have blasting out the open
The guitar is the shining star of this album. The chord
playing can be very light and fun, as seen in the intro of "24/7" (which, to me,
is also the best song on the album), but can also be very heavy, such as the
song "Silver Eye." And the melodic leads flow perfectly (the ending lead in "The
Hunger" is proof). The drumming is very well-done as well. While not overly
difficult, it reminds me of the classic British rock bands of the '60s.
As for problems with the album, there are only two trivial
ones I can find. The first is the bass, which is very hard to hear, but I'm used
to the bass not being very prominent, so it doesn't
bother me…too much. The other is the lyrics, which at times can be fairly
shallow and redundant, but I can look past those for the most part as well.
Since I haven't been in touch with the rock releases of this
year (or the past five years, for that matter) I can't say for sure this would
be one of the best, but if the best the big labels had to release were
Nickelback and Avril Lavigne, then yes, this would and should definitely be
topping lists. I recommend this to any fans of The Beatles looking for something
new, or rock fans in general.
© 2004 Riley McDonald and "The Daily Vault."
Daily Vault (USA/Canada)
“The Treat” is a hard rock band
from Oxford, trying to include in their playing hard rock riffs, indie tinged
grooves and pop vocal harmonies.
“The Treat” were found in 2001
in Oxford. The following two years they made a series of live shows in Oxford,
London, Leicester, Dudley, supporting Ken Hensley, Cambridge, and Birmingham.
In 2003 they released
their first single “Agent 555”, which was circulates among local media. And
recently, the LP is finally out.
has all the characteristics of the musical taste of the band and its basic
composer and guitarist, Michael Hyder, and this is obvious throughout the album…
The album is mostly hard, with
fast rhythm and catchy refrains, which will easily stick in your head. It has
classic hard rock elements but it also sounds fresh and modern. The opening
track, “Burnin’”, is getting you straight to the point. A song that was made for
the car (or at least that’s where I listen to it). The rest of the album goes on
with the same style: Mid tempo to fast and very fast riffs and rousing refrains.
Also, all the solos of the guitar are ideally fit in the songs, without breaking
its flow. It’s an album that you are certainly going to like.
One day, I tried to put one song
of “In Technicolor” for a friend to listen to. I realized that I could not
distinguish which one was better than the rest. Most of them can be listened
very easily and will lift your spirits from the first moment you press “Play” on
the cd-player. I think that most of the songs would be perfect for live. Anyway,
I finally chose “The Hunger” as the best track in the album, but the same thing
I could say for at least another 6 songs of the 10-track album.
It’s worth the listening.
Rock Pages (Greece)
Centred around Oxford based
guitarist and songwriter Mike Hyder, three-piece outfit The Treat
have spent much of the last two years gigging up
and down the UK, playing venues such as the Garage and the Hope & Anchor in
London and a support with ex Uriah Heep man Ken Hensley. A feast of 70s style
rock, their debut album, "In Technicolor", was launched in
October. Highlighting a competent band with much to recommend, tracks such as
the pacey straight forward rock of "Burnin'", the pumping
pace of "Rock You", and the excellent head bobbing of "Let's
Get Beautiful" show a style and maturity that point
to good things ahead for the band.
Mark Hoaksey Powerplay
treat> <"in technicolor"> <rockular recordings>
In case you have been
living in Siberia for the past twelve months the UK music industry has been
seized by the snakelike grip of old fashioned rawk music. In a movement led by
The Darkness we are told that rock is now cool again (when wasn't it?) and the
doors are open to bezillions of other bands to come and rock out for the record
One of these bands is
The Treat, a three piece from Oxford which has already earned the plaudit
"2004's answer to The Darkness" and who are doing very well in all kinds of
places ranging from the UK to Chile.
I would be very wary
of any band compared to The Darkness but in The Treat's case I can see the
reviewer's point. "In Technicolor" does sound very retro in its approach to its
music. When the album launches into opening song "Burnin'" the guitar part
almost sounds like Iron Maiden and the vocalist has a clarity in his words that
I haven't heard since Ian Anderson picked up a flute and formed Jethro Tull. The
one major difference between The Treat and The Darkness is that where The
Darkness are all the flamboyance and pomp The Treat are much more a denim and
leather band - perhaps playing Saxon to The Darkness's Kiss.
All the songs on this
album are proper old skool rock with lyrics about cars, girls, drugs and rock
'n' roll. The melodies are simple and solid and at times sound almost poppy
because of their light tuneful verses and choruses. The band are consistently stylistic with their music mixing Led Zep and Van Halen style influences with
pop-rock writing to create a great rock album. It's also interesting to note how
honest the band are in their songwriting. Whilst much new rock music is hitting
a much younger demographic this album definitely has a more mature feel to it.
Whereas the over 35's at gigs these days are often the parents stood at the back
looking out for their children, you really feel like if you went to see The
Treat, the grown ups would be the ones up front (which is how it should be).
"In Technicolor" is a
very honest very rockin' set of songs and it's also an album that never tries to
be something it's not. It's all about old skool rock, un-PC lyrics and having a
good time with a guitar. Not everyone will like it but those who do will be at
The Treat's gigs every time the band come to town.
This Is Not TV (Manchester, UK)
The Treat : In Technicolor
Review: This is my first review for Musicmayhem.com, so I'm
glad it doesn't have to be a bad one. These guys are pretty good! If you
like straight ahead rock with a catchy, poppy feel, then check these guys
out. There are a trio from Oxford, and you can tell they've been
influenced by such bands as the Beatles. I found some of these tunes
rolling through my head all day. Great guitar work, and good lyrics. The
production quality on this CD was fantastic. I was blown away by how
technically good it sounded. The
case had a great cover, and complete liner notes with lyrics printed.
Favorite Tracks: "Don't Think Twice", "Agent 555","Let's Get
Least Favorite Track: "Silver Eye"
By Ryan Lane
Dissatisfied with every contemporary trend in rock music (and
who can blame them?), The Treat have decided to shut their eyes and ears to the
last few decades and pretend they never took place, going so far as to design a
circular band logo straight out of the mescaline-laced '60s to complete the
ruse. Likewise, the band's debut album, In Technicolor, does not simply
evoke general comparisons to the gods of classic rock -– it is classic
rock, direct and unmitigated.
For this Oxford-based three piece, rock 'n' roll was and
still is a way of life; the other two components being the oft-mentioned sex and
drugs. Listening to rock means waking up just
before lunch on a stained mattress on the floor of a seedy apartment next to a
blonde (dyed, of course), lighting a cigarette, taking a pull of what looks and
smells like bourbon straight from the bottle and wondering just how the hell you
got here after that killer show last night. The music on In Technicolor
-- with all its unabashed homage to Sabbath, AC/DC, Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, et al
-- celebrates that questionable existence. Meanwhile, Radiohead is finding new
ways to criticize the crushing pointlessness of modern life just across town.
What The Treat do, they do very well. The opener, "Burnin',"
is highly charged stuff, geared for the folks in the audience who came to rock.
"Agent 555," the album's first single, is catchy and anthemic, especially for
those looking to score some hard shit from the guy loitering in the gents'
toilet. And so it would be a mistake to dismiss this outfit just because it
happens to be so resolutely retro as to be unfashionable, even in these
desperate, originality-starved times of ours. If you offer the devil sign (the
two middle fingers held down by the thumb, pinkie and pointer extended) without
irony when something pleases you, enjoy more than your fair share of air guitar
in mom's full-length mirror, drive around in a beat-up auto while yelling
flirtatious obscenities at girls out the passenger window and consider Bill
and Ted's Excellent Adventure the apex of cultural achievement, The Treat
will fit your musical bill exactly. The same goes for listeners who tend to
deviate from this callous stereotype slightly. Not surprising, angst-ridden fans
of Limp Bizkit, Hundred Reasons, Linkin Park and the like won't find much here.
Neither will the dance crowd. But should straightforward rock 'n' roll hedonism ever regain its once-lofty status, The
Treat might even recruit a few converts from among their ranks.
Eric J. Iannelli
Ink19 (Florida, USA)
Reviewed by Adam Harrold
Tracks:Burnin', Don't Think Twice, Agent 555, Rock You, Let's Get
Beautiful, 24/7, Silver Eye, The Hunger, Nightclubbing, Hypertonic.
Admittedly, “In Technicolor” has been around for some time now, but upon
discovering a decent British rock album it often seems a little
irresponsible not to tell others. If attention isn’t drawn to as many good
new rockers as possible, then it could well be that we’ll see the country
fall under the dark veil of musical bollocks once more. And since the
noughties (for want of a better word) has so far been very welcoming to so
many rock bands, it’s about time you were introduced to The Treat.
Dabbling with the sound of the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and even a little bit
of The Beatles, The Treat manage to tread a well-worn but let’s face it
popular path. Main man Mike Hyde’s vocals might not be as distinctive as
Jagger, but he certainly knows how to lay down a fat guitar riff – see
“Hypertonic” – which more than gets him off the hook.
“Burnin’” and “Agent 555” are two other highlights from an album that
has much to recommend it by. Both songs have memorable choruses which no
doubt explain the regular radio plays that both songs are receiving at the
moment. It’s difficult to say where The Treat will go from here, but “In
Technicolor” is a debut release that is well worth checking out. Hopefully
the next album, being recorded this summer, will build upon this
RockSomething.com © 2005
In Technicolor (Rockular Recordings)
Oxford rockers The Treat bring their hard-edged indie music to the Bullingdon
on Sunday, to promote their new album In Technicolor.
Mike Hyder and his band have attracted comparisons with the Stones, Neil
Young and even a poppy AC/DC.
The band play original
material, with the emphasis on putting on a great live show.
Their album, recorded at Shonk Studios in Bicester, was released earlier this
month on Oxford-based Rockular Recordings. A 10-track slab of everything you can
expect from a Treat gig, it features tough guitar riffs, softer pop and catchy
Go on - treat yourself....
Tim Hughes Oxford Mail
THE TREAT " In Technicolor " ( Rockular
A new hope for the British rock scene is a
band called The Treat.
They are a trio, lead by main person, author,
composer and guitar player, Mike Hyder.
" In Technicolor" shows a group as a band with intensive indie attitudes. Their
mostly mid tempo, and the band musically cover impressive harmonies and a pop
vocal style. Their lyrics are about women, fast cars and similar themes. They
try to equalize urban psychology and a conventional mainstream approach with
current, trendy media attitudes. They are very comparative with The Darkness,
but that fact is not an advantage for the group.
Generally, we can regard "In Technicolor" as a solid basis, for
Rating : 7 / 10
BARIKADA - BOSNIAN site/zine
melodic hard rock
This band seems to be a total newcomer in the world of
hard rock music. At least no interactive or printed encyclopedia provides even a
couple of words about the UK-based combo. Music-wise The Treat sounds like a
cross between Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin and the more obscure glam rock likes of
Jetboy. Sloppy and funny lyrics are surely taken from Steve Tyler and
glamour-bands in general while the performance is obviously Led Zeppelin-ish.
Most of the tracks sound brave and up-tempo but the lack of guitar attack and
drum power make them sound like Poison (if it could have emerged in the 1970s)
but nothing like KISS. At the same time such a bravery of sound and one hundred
percent rock'n'roll attitude make The Treat look like no other hard rock band.
If this sounds like you cup of whiskey - you may want to give this one a try.
Metal Kings (Russia)
Advance Three Track Promo of 'In Technicolor' :
Agent 555/Nightclubbing/Silver Eye
Back in the sixties, when Mr Fleetwood and Mr Mac were looking for a guitar
player after their own guy had shot himself/got Jesus/busted (delete as
appropriate), they were checking out a candidate called Peter Green, slogging
away onstage at some godawful
bloodletting-Tuesday-night-three-men-and-a-dog-spit-and-sawdust yowl-in. Mr
Fleetwood points at Green and says: ‘Oi’ve heard enough, mate. That bloke only
plays three chords.’ Mr Mac, clearly the brains of the outfit, strokes his
not-insubstantial beard and returns: ‘Yeah. But don’t ‘ee play ‘em well?’
These were pretty much my reactions to The Treat. The group seem to
have a legion of influences, mostly old and including AC/DC, Led Zep and the
Chili Peppers. The latter is prominent on the single ‘Agent 505’,a driving and
funky hymn of praise to the pharmaceutical inventory of said Agent. The music is
bright, bouncy and spirited with strong, clear (although not always in tune)
vocals, capped by a simple but effective chorus reminiscent of the Stones at
their best. The best way to hear this is probably on the jukebox of the
Gloucester Arms; I’m sure the rocking gentlemen of that establishment would give
this number a fair wind. Let's hope the landlord’s reading this!
The next tune, ‘Nightclubbing’, is a disappointment. More hectic than ‘Agent’
but far less memorable melodically, it’s burdened by a tedious lyric, again
devoted to artificial highs (haven’t these guys ever tried paintballing?). The
motto of the band seems less ‘sex, drugs and rock n’roll’ than ‘drugs, drugs and
a side order of garlic bread’. Fortunately, ‘Silver Eye’ picks up the slack. The
Eye in question is a sort of Tolkienesque palantir (or Orwellian
telescreen, if you’re sick of hobbits), probing our private lives and finding
out our dirty little secrets (The Treat’s are, I fear, a stash of hard drugs and
an overly-comprehensive collection of Foghat albums).
But anyway, bollocks to all this - does it rock? Hell, yes. A lumbering
Brontosaurus of fuzz awakes and lollops away through the tundra, with the
drummer and singer desperately holding onto its scaly tail for dear life.
There’s another stonking chorus, a lyric of inspired Zep-style portentousness
and the sort of guitar solo that can only be played with your tongue out.
The big criticism of The Treat is that they don’t do anything new - its all
been done before, many a time. And yet, the same can be said for most modern
bands, especially The Darkness, with whom The Treat are often compared. In the
end, bands like this exist to make you happy. They succeeded in my case. Now
where I put my bong?
By Colin MacKinnon
Oxford Bands (UK)
The Treat give their hearts for guitar
Opener “Burnin” reminds me of early Iron Maiden but, because of the production,
its not really that “metal like”. If you go through the whole album you’ll find
a mix of The Stones, The Clash and other British rock acts from the seventies.
From time to time composer, guitarist and singer Mike Hyder gives the songs a
kind of blues feeling, Hard Rock in the vein of AC/DC,
little bit of the Beatles – and every track's got an independent touch. The
groovy “Let’s Get Beautiful”, the more poppy “The Hunger”, which has a cool
chorus and the up tempo song “Nightclubbing” are good and interesting but most
of the time the songwriting has to be better to claim the next step on the
ladder of success. 6/10
Metal District (Germany)
Also published in : From The Underground (Germany)
The Treat – In Technicolor
By Cameron Officer
In 2004, old is new and retro is refreshing. Reinventing some key musical
concept that worked for someone 10, 20 or 30 years ago is the widely perceived
ticket to chart success.
The Datsuns are The Stooges. Jet is The Small Faces. The Mars Volta is Emerson,
Lake and Palmer. Beyonce Knowles is Donna Summer. The Rapture is Depeche Mode.
Justin Timberlake is Michael Jackson and Robbie Williams is an assemblage of
people including, but not limited to, Dean Martin, David Cassidy, Johnny Rotten
and both Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise.
If you want to get ahead of the rest of your rock n’ roll peers in 2004, go back
to your dusty vinyl and do your homework.
And really, who can blame anyone for rummaging through the dress-up box,
strapping on a guitar, donning tight trousers and a false beard and going, “For
sooth! I am a musical genius with odd time signatures. My songs go on for three
months and have titles like “Interrupted Archaic Mechanism”. I’m totally hip.
I’m totally new. I’m totally now,” when all anyone with more than a passing
interest in popular music is thinking, “Hey, that guy looks like Rick
from Yes. How interesting!”
Before you can whine about how no one is original anymore, they’re in the
charts, getting huge press coverage and you’re nodding your head to their first
single because – well, gosh darn it – it just sounds so catchy and different.
Cultural observers and psychologist types often point to this as an example of
how we nostalgically yearn, in these troubled times, for simpler, sun- and
fun-filled memories. We react positively to music that sounds like it was made
two decades ago because it reminds us of being younger and carefree.
Justin Timberlake has brought funky, sweaty electro soul back to pop, for
example. Outkast’s Andre 3000 has stepped outside the realms of hip hop and
embraced, among other things, classic swing and jazz. The Darkness “Believe in a
Thing Called Love”.
And The Treat’s Mike Hyder knows the soothing, exciting value of a power chord.
The Treat is a three-piece from Oxford who has just released their debut album,
In Technicolor. Their press material doesn’t give away many indicators as to
whom they’ve been compared with by those in the know, but like musical stalkers,
they seem to follow in the footsteps of earlier rock bands, playing venues where
many a famous shoe has trod before.
The Police, The Who, Elvis Costello and The Rolling Stones are all mentioned as
having inhabited the same dance halls and pubs The Treat love to play in, so in
a way there are no surprises as to what they’ll sound like before putting their
CD in the stereo.
In a word; retro.
It’s tight fitting, cleanly executed, hard rock. It’s not world shaking but, in
the same manner as the bullish, fat, three-day growth-sporting builder with 30
years experience and a hammer he calls ‘old faithful’, it gets the job done,
without any fuss or bother or questions about occupational safety and health.
Over the course of In Technicolor’s 10 original compositions, The Treat display
a competent pub rock style, somewhere between a heads down Status Quo and a straight backed Jam or Clash. Tracks like album opener “Burnin’”, melodic rocker
“The Hunger” and “Agent 555” stick to a formula you can’t help but feel Hyder
and his fellow band members feel very comfortable with indeed.
The Treat never really extend themselves beyond the expected, but it’s a retro
sound, so the sudden introduction of samples or a cheeky melodica four tracks
into the album is neither sought after or welcome. This is dirty, greasy,
beer-sodden, sore-throat-in-the-morning rock n’ roll man!
Sometimes reinventing the musical wheel can work brilliantly, somehow resulting
in a totally fresh sound and fooling punters to varying degrees as to the
authenticity of the new product.
Radiohead have been underlining bits in the Cliffs Notes to Pink Floyd for years
now and everyone (this reviewer included) thinks they’re geniuses for doing so.
Supergrass were so obviously rehashing early Who that we didn’t care a jot and
cheered them on for it. Oasis? Don’t get me started... but we bloody loved them
for a few years there as well.
The Treat do what they do well, but the pub rock corner from which they’ve drawn
reference isn’t as exciting a proposition as, say, Eels ripping off Burt
Bacharach or a thinly veiled Sly & The Family Stone copyist.
Trends come and go though, and for all I know we could be on the verge of a
Motorhead/Iron Maiden/Status Quo revival. At this point in time, however, I
can’t see that particular retro revival providing The Treat with their transport
to the top.
The good thing here though is, you get the feeling Hyder and Co. couldn’t care
less about success – they’re too busy just having fun.
Like most people without the aid of small mirrors and a collection of drinking
straws and biros’ sellotaped together, I can’t see round corners. But should
‘80s Judas Priest and Uriah Heep make a big mainstream comeback any time soon,
you’ll be going to bigger venues than the local pub to see The Treat.
This article comes from Thread
The URL for this story is:
English band that plays NWOBHM and does that very well
too! It's almost unreal that they do, but it is true!! I don't know if they
ended up with that sound and style by accident, but the end result is NWOBHM
Let It Rock Magazine (Germany/Greece)
Just get to an agreement.
If The Treat really want to sell their sound for retro rock in the literal
sense of the term, they won’t find in me an accomplice. After assimilating
with devotion the word of Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who and all the
other glorious acts that wrote the history of rock, I find hard to see in
the obvious easy listening of “In Technicolor” the stigmata of a sound
which, for strong traditions, must be soaked into rebellion and
shamelessness. Premised that and premised that at present I can’t stand all
the groups whose name begins with “the”, this debut of the british band is
an appreciable summary of provincial contestation rock: polished never too
energetic sounds of strong English approach, seventies-like attitude, head
among the clouds, rooted boots on earth. Well, ten fitting songs like “Agent
555” (first single), “Don’t Think Twice” and “Silver Eye” that can be
listened without regrets or jumps. A light listening, but not bad: a sort of
catharsis in tunes of a seventies rock world with extravagant trends, so
fragile to risk to get broken like a played string with too much strength.
Easy to realize how the band cares about the retro cause, with the croaking
“Let’s Get Beautiful” and “Burnin’”, and they don’t even miss the class
strike, that is the vaguely southern tasted bluesy homage to AC/DC (“24/7”).
There’s who, in matter of old rock, is much more clever than The Treat (in
the sense that can exploit this attitude better like The Darkness or The
Jet), but these three songsters of the music that once was show to own
enough personality to challenge with the chart champions of exhumed rock.
HARD ROCK HOUSE
The Treat - In
Rating - 6.5/10
Review Don Gibbs
The Treat are a band that formed in
2001 in Oxford and then spent the majority of 2002 doing what all new
bands need to do, trying to get as much exposure as possible by gigging
the year away up and down the country. They released their first single
“Agent 555” in December of the same year and also began working
on “In Technicolor”, their debut album, which was finally
released in December of 2003. The liner notes for the CD lists Mike
Hyder, Andy Sutton and John Halliday as the musicians involved in this
CD but I guess there must have been some changes made as their website
states that the current players are Mike Hyder (Electric & Acoustic
Guitars/Lead Vocal/Multi-Instrumentalist/Songwriting), Dom Lash
(Electric Bass/Double Bass/Keyboards) and 'Purple' David Hart (Drums/Tabla/
Percussion/Bass Clarinet/Multi-Intrumentalist). They are currently
pushing for an autumn release of their new CD, which is why I think I
was sent this CD to review, even though it has been doing the rounds for
nearly 3 years already.
On first listen I had a huge feeling
of deja-vu, I was immediately transported back to the late 60’s/early
70’s style of pop rock/pub rock music. The first comparison that came
into my mind was the debut release from GENESIS – “From Genesis to
Revelation”, although The Treat have not managed to do it quite as
good as Messr’s Gabriel et al.
The first track on the album, “Burnin”,
starts off with a great rock riff which could be compared to the likes
of AC/DC, “Don’t Think Twice” is a definite 60’s throwback with
faster rhythms and quite a catchy refrain which leads onto their initial
single “Agent 555” which has some Black Crows influence in it.
The 4th track on the album is what has been classed as the
albums anthem song, “Rock You”, which is probably one of the
better tracks with its chugging guitars and dominant drums however my
favourite track is “Silver Eye” which takes a lot of inspiration
from the psychedelic sounds and hallucinogenic lyrics that Led Zepplin
blessed us with previously.
This is an album with a definite
retro feel to it, almost as if they are trying to re-invent the musical
wheel and turn back time to the days when British Rock ruled the world.
Some of the reviews done when “In Technicolor” was initially
released in 2003 were classing these guys as the new Sabbath/Motorhead/Iron
Maiden rolled into one, but you must remember that this release came out
at the time when those Rock Icons The Darkness (sarcasm rules) were at
their height of popularity so it was pretty obvious that the Rock genre
had lost it’s way a little and I think that the public were desperate
for someone to knock them off their perch and would clutch at any straws
“The Treat” kick out cleanly
executed, tight fitting, classic rock but have added a modern style to
it. If I was to make any sort of criticism at all it would be to say
that while Mike has a fairly decent voice, it needs a bit more meat to
it so that he can do justice to the rockier sound they are trying to
produce. These guys are not going to be world shakers, their albums
won’t be ground breaking and a lot of people may not look on them as
cool, but they do produce a fairly decent sound.
Overall I would say that this is a
mediocre release which isn’t really going to amount to too much, but
with a bit more musical maturity they could, if they tweaked things up a
bit, go on to bigger and better things. At the same time they could
also completely cock things up and fade into obscurity. I wait for
their next release to see which path they are taking!
Don't Think Twice
Let's Get Beautiful
Mike Hyder - Guitars/Vocals
Dom Lash - Bass/Keyboards
David Hart - Drums
The Treat - In Technicolour (Rockular Recordings Ltd.)
T: Well, whilst I
like what the band are doing, mixing Led Zeppelin with Wire and calling in
Uriah Heap every now and again, I really DON'T like the production on this
album. It sounds way too clean, yet somehow sounds rather muddy at the same
time. I realise that's something of a misnomer but hey, I know what I mean!
The songs are well constructed, and I can see many of the comparisons made
previously by various webzine writers (The Clash, AC/DC and Van Halen in
particular) so it's a release that makes me want to see the band live,
because I suspect they will come across far better than they do on CD.
N: To be honest, listening here, I found this a little too "comic book". The
songs just came across with less impact than I felt they deserved, almost as
if this band could perform to a script, somewhat like the Monkees did in the
sixties. But hey, it got THAT band noticed! 6/10
British Rock is the order of the day, courtesy of The Treat. A treat eh? Well
I'll be the judge of that methinks.
'Agent 555' is caught up in sixties, not just conceptually but with
harmonious melodies that could have come from The Byrds and an open style of
drumming to match. The backing vocals towards the end of the track add some of
the seventies styles that The Feeling are currently breathing back into life and
altogether it's good enough to deserve the treat label.
A tad faster and with a more prominent lead vocal, 'Hypertonic' is another
retrospective belter with a crazy fast chorus lyric and a smouldering solo.
The Treat are like poppier cousins of The Delays, bringing to life one of
Britain's finest decades with plenty of contemporary slant to the songs despite
the re-born components. This is music from a time where it was a whole lot of
fun and it's worth taking a moment to enjoy Agent 555.
Written By: Saur
View The Mag Team
After a 3 minute
episode of jamming to your music we have approved Agent 555 for distribution on
This means your song is now available on all sections of our website
in addition to your artist site.
Keep the great music coming!
Live Life Loud
Max (Content Manager) -
with pop overtones" - HOPE & ANCHOR, Music Venue (London,UK)
Stones-y" - THE UNDERWORLD, Music Venue (Camden, London, UK)
melody and rhythm from The Treat" - Oxford Mail
Young inspired melodic rockers"
Radio Play Lists
'The following tracks have
already been in rotation and were received well by my listeners - Hypertonic,
Let's Get Beautiful, and Nightclubbing. I am currently featuring Agent 555. Thanks for turning me (and
my listeners) on to this refreshing new band'. -DJ Ajay
MIXED BAG SOUND SYSTEM, USA
SKYWAVE RADIO, UK
ROCK FM , Greece
RADIO RASA, Switzerland
THUNDER RADIO, North Dakota, USA
RADIO FREAKOUT, New
SPACE IN YOUR FACE,
CKMS, Ontario, CANADA
KGFN, El Cajon,
WRHU, New York, USA
CIUT, Radio Toronto,
KBVU The Edge Indie
Show, Iowa, USA
SYN FM, Dive Into My
Adam's Apple Show, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
SYN FM, Music To My
Ears Show, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
THE GRAIN DIVISION, UK
The Treat are also listed on