With man and mouse, or rather with man and rat, it goes to the start. The revised EP Bad Treatment, which was already released as an album in August 2016 with a slightly different line-up, now shows the spectrum of the new and since 2019 stable formation. Kick-Ass Rock from the North of Germany.
It opens with, of course, Kick-Ass Rock, that’s the way it is, that’s what you expect. With “Good Times” they skillfully treat you to their style. The sound is dirty; the voice pressed but not over the top and the arrangement kept coherent and short. An intro from the Ska area, a Jane’s Addiction tribute scream that directly introduces a guitar solo and off we go. It then continues at a similar pace, just under 100 BPM. With “Mirrors” the tension is kept and the kick-ass rock continues. The bass gives way to the interlude, in which the two guitars take over the solo parts. Once more into the chorus and with clinking discs the entertaining number fades out.
“Song for One” could be the sing along at live concerts. The song is produced in a clear and straightforward manner and, with the sing-along elements, is also suitable for short-term memory. The crunchy guitars take a back seat thanks to the Palm-Muted style of playing and so the vocals are the central element here. But here comes the weakness of the song, vocally it straddles. A mouse off the mark and the forced, pressed tonal attack do not harmonize very well. Overall, at 5:05 minutes, the piece is too long, especially since there is too little variation in the guitar department. Unfortunately, the very successful solo comes too late in the end.
“Seasons”, a ballad with a feature by the artist Jen starts with a clear acoustic guitar and lies in the ear like “Broken” by Seether feat. Amy Lee with a little 3 Doors Down in the mixdown. Jen’s voice is clear and present, front man “Eddy” also shows a calmer facet, even if the vocal timbre does not correspond to that of the typical ballad singer. But it becomes inconsistent when it is pressed and pressed again to suggest pressure in the chorus. Some like the dirty voice notation – for me personally the concept, the idea doesn’t really work here. A duet should harmonize unless it is explicitly designed differently. A dispute, a quarrel, opposites that gradually attract each other – it could work there. Here, however, that is not thematically the case. 5:20min the voices simply steal each other’s show and try to dominate each other. Unfortunately, no great romance arises in the ear here.
Let’s get back to the band’s strength, which is dynamic powerful rock. The title track “Bad Treatment” is entertaining with a very catchy riff and sound. Here the pressure in the voice fits, small EQ vocal playing, tapping and a solo that sounds really good supported by the drums. Eddy roars his vocal cords sore again and with the fading amp feedback ends a little more than 4-minute excursion into the kick-ass rock genre. The title is the highlight of the EP and leads over well to “Bitter Pills”. The head nods to the rhythm, the riff, catchy, as they say. It sounds voluminous and dynamic overall with a very dark ominous bridge that fits the mood well. But again, the overly pressed vocals are suboptimal.
“Leave Me Alone” struggles with similar problems, even if this is played with quite positively. In the interlude, the alternation between the ironic sounding voice and the rough pressed parts is a varied excursion and would be much more accentuated and harmonious, if the pressure in the chorus were to come through variations in the instrumental area beforehand.
In sum, less is more and strength and weakness of this record are quite clear here. The band sets itself a trap with ballads, but escapes it through its dynamic tracks. DAMN!ESCAPE must be seen live, the EP is not a real studio record, for that it lacks sensitivity in production and mastering. The mood, the intention of the band, the feeling of the songs on the EP – all this rather reflects live moments that you want to experience with them.