Review: Treat- Ghost of Graceland

It may seem hard to believe, but despite forming in 1983 Swedish melodic rockers Treat have only released six studio albums. In all fairness, the band did take an extended hiatus starting in 1994 while the members explored other musical endeavors, before finally reforming in 2006. Even though there are extended periods of time between albums, it is always well worth the wait, because there is no rushing perfection and the band takes their time to craft a masterpiece each and every time. In 2010 they released their piece de resistance Coup De Grace and now just six years later, which is actually pretty quick for Treat, they are set to drop their 7th studio album Ghost of Graceland for Frontiers Records. The album has a matured sound that reflects their place in life today, while still paying homage to their roots and the songs of the 70’s & 80’s that inspired them to want create music of their own in the first place and much like it’s predecessor, is already in the running for AOR album of the year. Even though it is a return to their roots, the riffs in songs like title track “Ghost of Graceland,” “Endangered” and “Non Stop Madness” manage to come full circle to pick up right where Coup De Grace left off, while “Better the Devil You Know” incorporates subtle elements of vintage Deep Purple and Toto. The seamless flow from huge riffs and massive bottom end to infectious radio ready choruses in cuts such as “I Don’t Miss the Misery,” “Inferno” and “House On Fire” are simply irresistible and speaking of radio, piano and string infused numbers like “Do Your Own Stunts” and “Together Alone” just beg for repeated radio airplay.Alien Earthlings” sounds like a long lost track from fellow Swedes Europe and winds up being one of the best on the album, while “Too Late To Die Young” is built around a more rocked up version of the guitar riff from “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys and harmonies that recall the greatness of Kansas. Just when you think to yourself that they couldn’t possibly have any ammunition left, closer “Everything to Everyone” pulls the trigger one final time to show they still had one in the chamber. Here’s the bottom line. It kind of sneaks up on you, but a certain point you realize that the puppet strings on the cover are tugging at your heart. Rating: 9 out of 10 -Eric Hunker