We can thank Scandinavia (or blame them, depending on your tastes) for sending us everything from ABBA, Ace of Base, and Roxette to black metal. During the 1980’s, the Norden rock scene gave us artists like King Diamond, Hanoi Rocks, Pretty Maids, Electric Boys, TNT, Europe, Yngwie Malmsteen…and although they never made much of a splash here in the US, it also gave us Treat. Treat released several modestly successful albums from 1985-1989. Then, in 2016, they came back big with their best album by a mile, Ghost of Graceland. Their latest release, The Road More Or Less Traveled, is a live effort that combines some of their old stuff with some of the new. Sonically, it turned out great. Robert Ernlund has a great voice. He sounds a lot like Kelly Hansen (Hurricane, Foreigner) and brings it as well today as he did back in the day. And the rest of the guys can all play their asses off, too.
Back in the 1980’s, Treat wasn’t my thing. As far as Norden rock went, they were more Europe and TNT than King Diamond or Yngwie Malmsteen. In those days, I used to crank the Pretty Maids and Electric Boys (Groovus Maximus is still one of my favorite albums). I wasn’t much into Europe or TNT. The reason – the combination of high profile keyboards and lovelorn lyrics are like kryptonite to me. I like driving power rock guitar riffage that makes me want to drive my car through the front window and into my living room. Lyrically, I like artists who make me want to put my balls to the wall while I simultaneously shout at the devil and try to avoid “Mr. Brownstone”. Treat wasn’t that kind of band.
But that was then…and this is now. In their old age, Treat have gotten edgier (maybe because the pressure to write hit songs has been lifted). In my old age, I’ve gotten mellower (maybe because I need testosterone replacement therapy). As a result, the gap has narrowed between the music Treat wants to play and the music I want to hear. And the Road More Or Less Traveled contains a lot of their cool new stuff from Ghost of Graceland – songs like “Better The Devil” and “Do Your Own Stunts”. Check out the raw live clip from last year below.
Nowadays, Treat executes this brand of melody metal or love rock or whatever you want to call it (I hate labels) as well as anyone.