The Treasures – [Album]

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

To be perfectly frank, country music has only suffered from one problem for the last forty years: a massive inferiority complex. For the last forty years, Country has continually grabbed for the brass ring that Pop music wears, and tried to succor some of the genre's listeners away by trying to play by pop's rules with thoroughly mixed results. In the Seventies and early Eighties, country tried to employ the cartoonishly large disco instrumental arrangements of the day to get the pop market's attention, and the results included things like Dolly Parton's “Nine To Five” and “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” by Vicki Lawrence. That kind of earnest posturing worked for a minute but seized up pretty quickly when many of the artists' ambition overshadowed the quality of their songwriting. In the Nineties, country music split two ways and one half of the market embraced Top 40 (see Shania Twain and the other singers of her ilk) while the other adopted textural rock songwriting ideas to help found alt-country. Those two camps are still battling as this review goes to print but, now, they're battling for increasingly diminished returns because fans have grown perfectly tired of what they're hearing. It has reached the point now where country music has become such a stylistically impoverished form that even trying to keep children interested in it has become a chore (just ask the legion of fans who have begun abandoning Miley Cyrus) but, happily, artists like The Treasures might have the right idea with what they're presenting now. Instead of adding new fins, digital forms or other multitudes of decidedly “un-country” ideas to their music, The Treasures have stripped all the nonsense away from Country music and elected to just play it straight and celebrate the music's soul.

The lonesome, beleaguered soul of Country music at its best bleeds through Bring The Night Home from the moment The Treasures erupt into a beautiful, multi-part harmony to open “In The Meantime,” the very first song on the record. There, the instruments which provide accompaniment fade completely into the background because the sense of catharsis and loneliness which color the voices of guitarists Michael Poskanzer and Duncan Davies, bassist Liam Cohl and drummer Galen Pelley are just so bright that they swallow the mix whole; everything else comes second to those voices and the emotional wealth they're pregnant with.

That first shock in “In The Meantime” is dazzling and it would be easy enough to expect that the band would simply continue to mine that dynamic but, actually, the band works hard to develop and realize some other time-honored sounds before it rests. On “Gonna Wait,” “And I Know You,” “She's Burning” and the hard luck, hard love lament “Crossed The Wrong Woman,” The Treasures aim to simply hit listeners with waves of time-honored melody, easily relatable lyrical themes, chord progressions and arrangements which struck gold for Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and innumerable other Country legends from decades gone by, and nail their marks every time. The sweet soul of the music will melt hearts and the vintage structure of its composition will captivate those who hear it because it is recognizably timeless; listeners will know they've heard music like this before but will also know it's been a good long time since they did – that it returns here with new voices no change in spirit is romantic and beautiful. Here's hoping that The Treasures follow up on Bring The Night Home soon – they've got something here which can inspire insatiable love in listeners, and those listeners will know they need more after they hear it.



Bring The Night Home
is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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