WAITING FOR GOOD LUCK
Released on April 9, 2021 (Frontiers Music Srl)
One of most anticipated releases of the year for me — and especially after hearing the kick ass first single “Rat Race” — was The Treatment‘s fifth studio album Waiting For Good Luck. Speaking of good luck, The Treatment have had their share of bad luck when it comes to continuous line-up changes but they always seem to bounce back and come up with a solid to great album. I kind of feel like a broken record as I mentioned the line-up issues at the start of my review of The Treatment‘s fourth studio record Power Crazy but once again, a key cog of the band is no longer there. This time around, it’s bassist Rick “Swoggle” Newman who decided to leave the group after four stellar albums. In a way, you can’t blame Newman as The Treatment have arguably put out four of the strongest records from any band in the last decade but there’s just no or not enough money to make a solid living these days from simply playing music. The good news is that Newman apparently was not one of the chief songwriters in the band from what I gathered from guitarist Tagore Grey and drummer Dhani Mansworth when I recently interviewed them (with the interview to be posted on Sleaze Roxx hopefully sooner rather than later).
Speaking of the duo, they are the only two remaining members from the line-up that released The Treatment‘s first two records — This Might Hurt (2011) and Running With The Dogs (2014). Actually, that’s not quite true as The Treatment boast a sixth unofficial member that has been there since the beginning and although he’s not listed as a “member” per say, he’s actually a huge part of the band and its sound. Drummer Dhani Mansworth‘s father Laurie is the sixth unofficial member in question and this time around, he handled the production duties and also played guitar given that Tao Grey was busy filling in on bass for the album. Clearly, Laurie Mansworth has had a huge impact on The Treatment and here he is again having guided the group to another fantastic album while keeping The Treatment‘s sound intact and consistent with their prior releases. The great news for The Treatment — perhaps this was the good luck that they were hoping for — is that Waiting For Good Luck is the second album with lead vocalist Tom Rampton, and the singer seems to have gotten better and perhaps more comfortable this time around. I do note that my previous favorite album from The Treatment was Running With The Dogs, which was singer Matt Jones‘ second album with the band at that time.
Whatever the case, there is something really special about Waiting For Good Luck. It reminds me a bit of Thundermother‘s album Heat Wave in that it’s such a solid rock n’ roll record from start to finish but with some special melodies that will stay embedded in your mind for days to come. The last track “Wrong Way” does that for me every time that I hear it. It’s worth noting that Thundermother‘s Heat Wave ended up at #1 on the Sleaze Roxx’s Top Ten Albums of 2020. Enough said on that front. I think that you get the idea. The funny thing about Waiting For Good Luck is that it’s taken my focus and time away from reviewing other albums because every time that I listen to it, I almost always end up playing it again (and again) because it’s just so damn good. It’s been a while since I listened to Power Crazy but I feel that Waiting For Good Luck has more variety and better melodies than the former.The guitar riffs are oftentimes simple similar to AC/DC but what really sets the songs apart this time around is singer Tom Rampton‘s lead vocals and melody lines throughout the songs. Not only does Rampton put in a great performance on every song but the background vocals throughout the record really complement his singing lifting him up when he needs a bit of a hand.
I understand from recently speaking to Dhani Mansworth and Tagore Grey that The Treatment‘s record label Frontiers Music Srl was the one that picked the first two singles “Rat Race” and “Wrong Way.” There is no doubt in my mind that Frontiers picked the right singles but I hope that “Let’s Make Money” gets the video treatment down the line as it’s a cool song that could potentially be a great “corporate” song like Bachman-Turner Overdrive‘s classic “Takin’ Care of Business.” Thankfully, The Treatment do not have any ballads on their new album. Probably the closest to a a ballad would be the track “Barman” which might be The Treatment‘s semi-weak attempt at a “Piano Man” type song. Don’t get me wrong, “Barman” is a cool track but there’s only one “Piano Man.”
Overall, I rank Waiting For Good Luck as probably the best release that The Treatment have come up with to date and that is saying a lot considering the quality of the group’s releases prior to that one. I find that the melodies on Waiting For Good Luck to be akin to the ones on The Treatment‘s second studio album Running With The Dogs, which up to this point I had considered to be the band’s best record. The one drawback with The Treatment‘s latest offering is that it does feel a tad too polished. Perhaps I like my songs a little rawer and sleazier but there is no doubt in my mind that Waiting For Good Luck is one of the best albums of the year to date.
01. Rat Race
02. Take It Or Leave It
03. Lightning In A Bottle
05. Eyes On You
06. No Way Home
07. Devil In The Detail
08. Tough Kid
09. Hold Fire
11. Let’s Make Money
12. Wrong Way
Tom Rampton – lead vocals
Tagore Grey – lead guitar
Dhani Mansworth – drums
Tao Grey – bass
Laurie Mansworth – guitar, backing vocals
Isabelle O’Neill – piano (10)
Produced by Laurie Mansworth
Mixed by Kevin Shirley
Engineered and recorded by Nick Brine and Tagore Grey
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, May 2021
The Treatment‘s “Rat Race” video:
The Treatment‘s “Wrong Way” video: