Today's highlighted Madison-based musical act is The Treats.
Melodic and sometimes poppy, at other times bluesy garage rock, The Treats are an appropriately-named Madison trio. They are gearing up for 2007 after literally working on a new studio over the last year, kicking things off with a couple shows after a long hiatus from the stage.
Here is the band's bio:
The Treats are a dynamic rock & roll trio who formed in 2000, shortly after brothers/songwriters Andrew and Don Isham moved next door to bass player Tim Payne. After enduring several weeks of his new neighbor's late night bassless jams, Tim had heard enough. So one night he staggered over next-door, bass in hand, and the Treats were born.
The Treats sound is driven by Andrew's vocal melodies and raw guitar combined with the limber rhythm swing of drummer Don and bassist Tim. The Madison, WI trio's music draws heavily from traditional rock & roll and pop, as well as incorporating elements of hard rock, blues, punk, and psychedelia. The result is an excitingly diverse sound with songs ranging anywhere from brash and swaggering rockers and high-octane blues numbers to wistful ballads and dreamy pop tunes.
The brothers Isham and their collaborator Payne have been concentrating their work on the studio over the autumn after a very busy two years following the release of their first complete album in the summer of 2004. This was Paint Your Blood, a fourteen-track introduction to their sound that the band recorded and mixed on their own. "The disc's raw, lo-fi sound seems not like a liability, but like a fitting adjunct to the band's sweat 'n' stagger stage show," wrote Al Ritchie in an Isthmus profile of the group shortly after the album's release.
Paint Your Blood got a big burst of attention more than a year later in late 2005 with the release of the film Side Effects. Written and directed by UW alumnus Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau and shot in and around Madison over the summer of 2004, the film takes a fictionalized semi-autobiographical look at the pharmaceutical industry. During production, Slattery-Moschkau attended a show featuring The Treats and apparently liked what she heard, making three of their songs the centerpiece of the soundtrack to the movie. These songs are "Volcanic," "Blue Gill," and "Fingers Rapping On My Door," the latter of which was also showcased in the trailer for the flick. More information about the band's Hollywood experiences are detailed in articles from Milwaukee's The University Standard and The Badger Herald. The UW student paper checked out the band a year previously, too.
During and since their soundtrack success, The Treats have been busy with two other projects. One is Spittoon, the band's alter-ego quartet that features both Ishams, Payne, and video game artist Eli Quinn. Tackling the genre of 'damn dirty country,' Spittoon released their first album in early 2005. Their other project is the completion of Standing Waters Studios, a basement recording suite that has been under construction since the end of last year. The band reported that "the end is in sight" at the end of this past summer, with photos of more than a year's worth of work available here. "New songs are in abundance," writes Don Isham, "so be ready for an epic triple-album rock & roll saga" as they embark upon recording their follow-up.
Four of The Treats' songs are available for listening on their Myspace page: "Early Guns," "Petroleum," "Paint Your Blood," and "Volcanic." There's much, much more about the band to be found at thetreats.net, including a full set of MP3s and lyrics for their 2003 debut EP The Treats along with lyrics and a few tracks from Paint Your Blood, along with video, and numerous photos accompanying a listing of their past shows, among other things.
With Standing Waters Studios nearly ready to go, The Treats are tuning up again with a couple of shows at the end of 2006, after spending nearly the entire year off stage. The started with a "Christmas Special" show on Saturday, Dec. 23, serving as something of a warm-up for their performance this weekend. This is the High Noon Saloon New Year's Party on Sunday, Dec. 31, which features an all-star Madison rock lineup of DJ Jake Shut (of WORT's "Charlie Don't Surf"), QWADD, Road Agent Spin, Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons, Helliphant, and Awesome Car Funmaker. There's more discussion about the party on TDPF. The Treats will be starting the show, so get there early.
This is the latest featured entry from the Madison Music Project, an online database of Madison-area musicians. Please register or update your current profile on the project for consideration in these highlights.