Friday, 4 July 2008

Treatment - Cipher Caput

Treatment were a much-loved UK space-rock band that, along with other tripped-out freakshows like Ozric Tentacles, The Magic Mushroom Band, Webcore etc, formed in the early days of the 80s psychedelic/festival scene. Their particular brand of lysergic lunacy took the energy of punk, the driving space rock of Hawkwind and the out-there madness of Gong as a starting point, put it all through the Treatment acid mangler, then launched itself into a peculiar and unsettling parallel universe.

Having previously released numerous live cassettes and a few singles, 'Cipher Caput' was their first studio album, released by Delerium in 1993. It's a great album, a true underground classic, and definitely one that rewards repeated listening. Over the years since I bought it, weeks after it was released, I've grown to love it. There's plenty of styles on offer here - the full-on space rock of 'Risky' and 'Damage', the disturbing mind excursions of 'Doubt' and 'Holding On', the graceful and spaced-out beauty of 'Dissolving', and the genuinely funny Arthur Brown-esque 'Boing Song' to name a few. Lyrically and musically, the album leans towards a grittier and more disturbing psychedelia rather than the flowery 'isn't the world a beautiful place?' variety. It would seem that there's some shockingly bad acid gone into the evolution of this band. And on the evidence of this album, that can't be a bad thing. It can't be....can it?....

Track Listing:

Side 1

1. Hidden Attack
2. The Boing Song
3. Risky
4. Dissolving
5. Designer

Side 2

1. Doubt
2. A Better Future For Britain
3. The Big I Am
4. Decay
5. Damage
6. Holding On

Grab it, worship it, then go and spend money on it here if you're feeling flush. Comments are always welcome.