By Michael Alahverdian, Rock At Night Rhode Island
Review: Elspeth Tremblay & the Treatment’s album Iconoclastic – Release date April 20, 2023
Before I began this review, I must admit that I had no idea of the meaning of “Iconoclastic”, the title of the new album by Elspeth Tremblay & The Treatment.
- characterized by an attack on cherished beliefs or institutions.
- “a fresh, even an iconoclastic, influence could work wonders”
Ok, enough of that…. on with the review!
There is something that we hear about much too often. (Some) musicians, bands, etc., (of all genres) seemingly mail in their live performances, as this is certainly unfair to the paying fan. Imagine paying $200.00 to see your favorite band, only to have them walk thru their songs with little or no excitement. Maybe they are even a little grouchy and unfriendly. Perhaps they feel that they have paid their dues, and just the fact that they show up for a concert should be enough for their adoring fans. I don’t see that happening with Elspeth Tremblay and the Treatment. From what I understand, it seems that they love to perform live and want to give it all to their fans.
It’s hard to pinpoint the style and sound of music that Elspeth Tremblay can be associated with or compared to. I hear a little bit of The Pretenders, a touch of Blondie, and perhaps one or two other well-known bands.
But I will say, listening to the music, the lyrics, and the arrangement of their songs, (numerous times I might add), I was pleased with what I heard. Elspeth Tremblay has a knack for writing lyrics that open our minds and hearts. She also has a voice and tone that can be soft and sweet (“Ghosted”) but she can also drive it into the core of your soul (“Kamikaze”). On this album, you never know what you are going to get and that’s what keeps this album so interesting.
The songs are well written, with just the right touch of 70’s style music, combined with music stylings from other decades, that would please just about any listener.
From the opening of “Backseat,” Joe Condon’s Ramone’s style drum beat is followed by the steady bass work of Ray Slagle and includes some great guitar work from (I assume) Ryan Dougherty. “Sweetheart” showcases the talents of each musician as they seem to take off in different directions, but it all comes together to make a very listenable and likable song. Another additional highlight of this album is “Happy To Be”. This is just a catchy, warm song with a feel-good message. Also, “Ambition” is a song you don’t want to listen to right before bed. No, it’s not scary. This song will bounce around in your thoughts and you may have a bit of trouble falling asleep for a while. This is an awesome song, but not sleep-inducing. Take it from me, I could not get this song out of my head.
As I mentioned earlier, this band loves the energy of live shows…Kudos to them for taking the time to record their fine new album. With great songs, such as these, and their passion for playing in front of a live audience, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Elspeth & the Treatment
Elspeth Tremblay. Vocals/Guitar
Ryan Dougherty. Guitars
Ray Slagle. Bass Guitar
Joe Condon. Drums
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