Treat - Ghost of Graceland

Treat Ghost of Graceland cover
Ghost of Graceland
Frontiers Music Srl
Treat is a band that has been out there toiling hard almost as long as Europe has, but fell victim to the worldwide charting success of their compatriots, never quite being able to get the recognition they so richly deserved being every bit as good if not better than them, but nowhere near as popular outside their native Sweden.
Reuniting in 2006 the band hasn’t been as prolific as they were in the 80s, but are almost always a sure bet when it comes to delivering no BS memorable rock n roll. After thinking about disbanding for about a year or so, a couple of years ago, it seems that the band had a change of heart and the only thing that has changed is the album count increasing by one as well as the bass player, with Pontus Egberg, a usual suspect in the Scandi scene taking over.
“Ghost of Graceland” manages to capitalize on the band’s distilled experience, producing a very satisfactory and balanced album that oozes with class and maturity. Without having to rely on sad bluesy melodies to make up for the lack of speed, the band seems capable of writing melodic mid-tempo songs that manage to keep the listener hooked, something that bands like Europe have had trouble managing to achieve (granted their output is more frequent than Treat’s post reunion).
Peter Mansson’s production is polished enough but doesn’t choke the songs up and the band plays to the best of their powers, their best hand based on rock’s long tradition, with a good deal of 70s but also 80s influences.
“Ghost of Graceland” as a whole touches and tackles on a wide variety of issues, ranging from relationships, politics, economics and the choices we make. The title song is a metaphor… paradise or prison? It’s up to us to decide what we make it.
While, “I Don’t Miss the Misery”, which has a more contemporary air, is all about finding your way out of a crisis and exchanging old and damaged experiences for new kicks.
“Better the Devil You Know” has a similar outlook, but from the opposite perspective that instead of changing for the sake of changing, it’s better to rely on what you know best. It regurgitates the 70s inspired sound and updates it to be compatible with today’s standards and succeeds greatly in doing so.
“Do Your Own Stunts” is a sweet song with an quasi anthemic quality, about a father trying to teach his kids how to live their lives to the fullest.
Without missing a beat “Endangered” soldiers on, based on a nifty riff and an urgent groove.
“Inferno” is a bonafide full blown anthem, about how love can take you to heaven but also make you burn in “hell”…
“Alien Earthlings” is a bit bittersweet, critical of how “alien” we’ve turned onto out “own” kind, while “Nonstop Madness” more moderately and “Too Late to Die Young” turn up the power and are a slow building anthem and a real party-maker, shaker, breaker!
“House on Fire” has the same anthemic character, but feels like it belongs earlier or in the middle of the album, rather than this late into it.
“Together Alone” is an awesome ballad that also marks Anders first lead vocal spot ever. Not bad at all... but I don’t see him taking over any time soon to be honest (hehe)...
Lastly, “Everything to Everyone” is a nice contemporary sounding melodic gem that manages to combine it’s sweet sorrow into a glimmer of hope quite capably, in a peach of a chorus.
Treat might not be putting albums, as often as we’d like to but when they do, it’s because they have a statement to make and “Ghost of Graceland” feels every bit as essential as any of their past efforts. Bravo!