TREAT – Scratch And Bite [Japan HR/HM 1000 Vol.2 reissue series] (2020) *Update*
Update: while selecting the bonus tracks taken from the 2008 remastered CD reissue, we mess with the files, and posted that 2008 reissue version of ‘Scratch And Bite’.
Now we updated this with the actual ‘HR/HM 1000 Vol.2 reissue’
A couple years ago 0dayrox featured in exclusive a lot of albums from the Universal Music Japan campaign ‘HR/HM 1000‘, that meaning Hard Rock / Heavy Metal long time out of print records from their catalog at the price of 1000 Yen = about 10,5 USD.
Now 2020 the label started the “HR/HM 1000 Vol.2 reissue series“, including some awesome titles you need to own in a superior Japanese CD press for only 10 bucks.
After a couple of standalone singles in 1984 (which B-sides / non album tracks we added as extras here), TREAT finally released their debut LP “Scratch And Bite” in 1985, following the style already initiated by EUROPE and DEF LEPPARD.
TREAT or “THE TREAT” as they called themselves at first was formed by Robert Ernlund (Vocals) , Anders “Gary” Wikstrom (Guitar) and Leif “Lillen” Liljegren (Guitar) in Stockholm, Sweden in 1982, but they had all been playing together since early 1981 in “THE BOYS”, a more straight ahead Rock band who sang in Swedish only, and recorded one album distributed locally.
Well… It all actually begun back in 1977 when Ernlund fronted his big brother Göran´s band “Sprängdeg” a rock´n´roll act that never recorded anything but played a whole lotta live gigs in and around the Stockholm area.
Liljegren, who played with HEAVY LOAD for a couple of months joined them in late 1980 and the above mentioned members became “The Boys” who later went on recording a demo tape as “THE TREAT” which by the way got turned down by every single label they sent it back in late 1982.
It wasn’t until drummer Mats “Dalton” Dahlberg (ex-Highbrow, Power) joined the guys in the summer of 1983 that things started to happen. Dalton had some contacts within Swedish Polygram who at the time was looking for a Swedish band playing the raising commercial hard rock wave to sign.
At the same time, bass player Tomas Lind joined The Treat and the five of them begun to record new demo songs together in the Polygram studio.
They all said in early interviews being influenced by bands such as Journey, Foreigner, Def Leppard, Boston, KISS, Whitesnake and Van Halen.
Lind left the band in early 1984 and he was replaced by Kenneth Sivertsson, a 25 year old Bassist who before had played with FACTORY, a pop band that sang in Swedish and had a couple of really big hits between 1978-81.
They changed their name from “The Treat” to simply just TREAT and the first single “Too Wild” was released in May 1984. It really took the whole hard rock scene by surprise and there was no doubt about that EUROPE, who at the time was the only “major” hard rock band in Sweden was no longer safe at the top.
In fact, Joey Tempest said in later interviews that “Too Wild” was such a good song that it made him both angry and happy at the same time. “I knew it would be a hit and also that I would have to try and write something even better to keep up with TREAT-ers”. The legend also says that he wrote “Rock the Night” a couple of days later as an answer to the catchy rock anthem “Too Wild”.
That first single was a big success and they managed to play two live gigs supporting WASP in their first tour in Sweden. Next single “You Got Me” released Oct. ’84 proved once and for all that TREAT were no one hit wonders, even if it didn’t sell as much as the debut.
They went back into the studio in Dec ’84 to record their first full length album, an album that they were going to name “Inside Out” at first, but as you might know ended up as “Scratch And Bite”.
Wikstrom said they were heavily influenced by Def Leppard´s “Pyromania” when they went into the studio to record ”Scratch And Bite” and there´s no doubt about it either, as many of the songs do sound a lot like Def Lepp. Just listen to “No Room For Strangers”, which really is very similar to “Billy´s Got a Gun” riff.
The LP was released in the early summer of 1985 and the band had a couple of hit songs in Sweden with “Get You On The Run” and the lovely power ballad “We Are One”. Both did well in the charts and the later became a much-played song at the biggest radio show for the youth (called Tracks).
TREAT toured all over Scandinavia in the summer of ’85 and the album sold well all over Europe and Japan.
TREAT came from nowhere and actually took over the title as “The Best Hard Rock Band” in Sweden that year, as Joey Tempest & Europe had recording and voice problems (then of course came the payback with ‘The Final Countdown’ in 1986).
Though “Scratch And Bite” is built to ’80s standards of the era baring up-front rhythm-section, harmonious keyboards, melodic guitar lines and smooth AOR vocals, the overall performance is far from flamboyant.
Clearly the aim was a commercial, perfectly radio friendly album for the biggest part with melodies and choruses for instant appeal. Cuts like “Get you on the Run”, “Hidin'”, “Too Wild”, “No Room for Strangers” are perfect examples of catchy Scandi melodic rock / AOR circa 1985.
ＳＯＮＹ ＭＵＳＩＣ ＪＡＰＡＮ ～ 【UICY-79409】
トリート ／ スクラッチ・アンド・バイト
Ｈ Ｒ / Ｈ Ｍ １０００ Ｖｏｌ. ２ ＳＥＲＩＥＳ
1 Changes = チェンジス
2 Scratch And Bite = スクラッチ・アンド・バイト
3 Get You On The Run = ゲット・ユー・オン・ザ・ラン
4 Hidin’ = 闇夜にハイデン
5 Too Wild = トゥー・ワイルド
6 We Are One = ウィ・アー・ワン～二人の想い出
7 No Room For Strangers = 負け犬の街
8 You Got Me = ユー・ガット・ミー
9 Run With The Fire = 炎の誓い
– Danger Games [1984 single B-side]
– On The Outside [1984 single B-side]
Robert Ernlund – vocals
Anders Wikstrom – guitars, keyboards, background vocals
Leif “Lillen” Liljegren – guitars, background vocals
Ken “Siwan” Siewertson – bass
Mats “Dalton” Dahlberg – drums