Sound: With an album title like Sweet Dreams, Sucker, you might expect The Treaty Of Paris to be cynical, anti-authority punk rockers. But from the first track on the CD, it's clear that the band has carved out a nice little niche in the poppier side of the rock world. The 12 tracks on Sweet Dream, Sucker revolve more around the intricate harmonies sung by vocalist Mike Chorvat rather than anything, and that often isn't enough to make for an album full of original songs.
The CD is comprised of 2 types of songs: the first being something along the lines of any given pop punk Warped Tour band, and the other taking a cue from (surprisingly enough) a 50's pop format. The tracks Here Goes Nothing and Waking Up The Dead start the CD off and represent the more contemporary side of The Treaty Of Paris. While catchy and lighthearted, they still don't necessarily separate themselves from what's already out there. The pop rock genre is a tough one in which to create a new identity, and the overall songwriting on Sweet Dreams, Sucker doesn't quite get over that obstacle.
About halfway through the CD, the band breaks out it's Doo Wop side. Rollerskates is the first to show signs of having an older, vintage feel, thanks to Chorvat's bop-bop-bops. It still is very much a song for today's audiences, but the '50s-styled vocal breakdowns stand out from every section in Rollerskates. Then comes the track I'll Come Back, which feels like the most authentic track from the sock hop era. It's a sedate ballad that, if not for the guitar solo and amped up vocals in the finale, would fit well with the vintage ballads from back in the day.
Harmonies are given the spotlight for most of the record, and it's easy to understand why. Chorvat does have an incredible talent for taking songs to a whole different level with his layered vocals. It would have been nice to hear a bit more from guitarists Dan Wade and Phil Kosch, who every once in a while come through with a guitar revelation. They absolutely make State Tollway what it is, with their country-influenced intro and melodic solo work. You can hear more of their intricacies underneath all of the vocals if you listen carefully, and it would have been nice to hear more of guitar come to the forefront. // 7
Lyrics: The Treaty Of Paris is one of the few bands who give listeners the gift of comprehensible lyrics. There is no mumbling involved, and it's obvious that the lyrics are one of the main focuses (if not the main one). There is a fun, easy-going feel to the songs on Sweet Dreams, Sucker -- despite the overly cynical title.
Elvis Lives is basically postulating about what the world has/will become post-Elvis Presley. Actually, the song has very little to do with Elvis, sadly. Something's got to give; So tell me what it is; We're making fools think they're so goddamn special. The song remains fairly vague except for the descriptive title, and it would have been nice for them to draw even more lyrical ammo relating to the King Of Rock.
The band keeps things fun and familiar for the majority of the record, with Hello Nurse being prime examples. In Hello Nurse Chorvat sings, You could be my nurse; Mouth to mouth resuscitating. It never gets much deeper than that, but it's a fairly good match for the lighthearted music that accompanies the words. // 7
Overall Impression: The Treaty Of Paris gets stuck sounding like a lot of pop rock bands out there on Sweet Dreams, Sucker. It's obvious they can do more because almost every track has one or two moments that sound original and inspired. Even though the 1950s feel might be scary to some, it's actually refreshing to hear something out of the ordinary. If the band is able to take more risks like they do on I'll Come Back, The Treaty Of Paris could be on it's way to breaking out of the usual pop rock mold. // 7