Behind the scenes, this album features significant changes in personnel. Vocalist / guitarist / lyricist Daniel Burton and bassist Jonathan Richardson have drafted John Dawson on guitar and Marty Sprowles on drums. Whereas previous albums leaned towards sprawling explorations, The Treatment resolutely ditches the slide guitar in favor of overlapping layers of loops, tight motorik rhythms, and guitar and bass processed to resemble cello or brass.
Why The Treatment? To a certain extent, because this is Early Day Miners' most-produced record to date -- and partly because there's a greater engagement with individual, human concerns. Arriving as a fully formed talent, Burton has developed his lyrical themes slowly over the past decade -- exploring the neglected regions of America, and the forgotten chapters of its history on previous albums. In some respects their most personal, subjective, and emotional album, The Treatment starts like every pop album should, with an invitation to join the band in enjoying The Treatment : "we're going out tonight / won't you join us?" but subtle clues reveal its questioning voices are not so straightforward. So listen close -- this is an album whose every layer demands attention, and re-pays it.
(SC171 released: 09/22/09)