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Well into the second decade of the twenty first century, and consistent with both the ephemeral and cyclical nature of musical trends and the popularity of, it seems that hard rock nostalgia is alive and kicking. And one of the scene's buzz bands, The Treatment, are back with album number three, which marks the recording debut of newly recruited frontman Mitchel Emms (who's previously appeared on BBC's karaoke contest, 'The Voice') and guitarist Tao Grey. Hmmm... is the latter related to existing guitarist and founding member Tagore Grey? Is this one and the same man; the former's forename seems to be an abbreviated form of the latter's? Mere coincidence? Either way, The Treatment are back with a new formation and another arsenal of big rock anthems.

To be honest, I had to give this a few listens before fully clicking with its dynamic. Music that adheres to such an overwhelming sense of genre mimicry and age-old songwriting paradigms doesn't ever do it for me first time around. I need something innovative, fresh and/or offbeat to really get my juices flowing from the off. Not necessarily music that always challenges, but most definitely music that stimulates the psyche, if you will. Genericism will never do that; it functions merely to satisfy rather than stimulate, through feeding your brain with a large dose of familiarity. And that's just what The Treatment offer up on 'Generation Me'. It's incredibly familiar territory they're rocking around in here, and that stimulated me not. Trying to engage with their music during the week just didn't stir me in any small way.... however, listening to the album on a Friday with that end-of-the-week feeling of glee, and I started appreciating 'Generation Me' for precisely what it is. This is feel-good, turn your brain off, party music, and there's no better time to party than on a Friday. A different mindset, a different mood... that's all it took, and this is music that's sure to both feed and create your mood - one of rocked-up revelry.

The Treatment have crammed their compositions with every rock cliché under the sun. This is paradigmatically primed to satisfy those who want simply to rock out to formulaic, though incredibly well executed, music. So, if you're prepared for a predictable platter of tried-and-tested sounds, and want some high-energy tunes where you can invoke your carefree self and forget your woes, then 'Generation Me' will more than satisfy that desire. The energetic, up-tempo impetus of tracks like 'Tell Us the Truth' and 'Cry Tough' are mixed up with mid-tempo rockers such as 'Backseat Heartbeat' and 'Better Think Again', although genericism reigns throughout as a ceaseless string of cues and idioms are lifted from AC/DC, Mötley Crüe, Europe, Thin Lizzy et al... you get the picture. However, when a band can work so many clichés into their music in such a skilfully crafted way (although it could be argued the 'craft' itself has also been pastiched), then it's still admirable what The Treatment have achieved here... primarily on homage terms, of course, as there are incredibly minimal attempts at originality. And new boy Emms has a monstrously huge rock voice that fits and complements The Treatment's music perfectly, so he's evidently a great addition to their ranks... and has found his home now that he's flirted with, and failed at, the quick fame route through mindless and souless TV talent shows.

Whether The Treatment have it in them to elevate their status to hegemonists of the hard rock genre remains to be seen. They've certainly taken a step in the right direction with 'Generation Me', although the popularity of their unashamedly clichéd and pastiched approach will, I guess, either prematurely peak or eventually wane at the expense of the ephemera associated with musical trends. For now, though, they're here, their popularity does seem to be on the rise, and 'Generation Me' will undoubtedly sustain that trajectory for the time being.
Frontiers Music
Review by Mark Holmes
18th March 2016
1) Let It Begin
2) The Devil
3) Tell Us the Truth
4) Generation Me
5) Backseat Heartbeat
6) Cry Tough
7) We Are Beautiful
8) I Know She Knows
9) Bloodsucker
10) Better Think Again
11) Light the Sun
"The Treatment have crammed their compositions with every rock cliché under the sun. This is paradigmatically primed to satisfy those who want simply to rock out to formulaic, though incredibly well executed, music."