By Peter Boskey

Ever listen to music and think to yourself, “Why are these people on the radio?”

That question should never arise with local Chicago-based band The Silent Treatment because they should never be heard on the radio. Their short, six-song album “Foreword” is a collection of poorly produced emo/punk rock.

The album begins with “Machete,” an experimental punk track that shows some hope of being good for roughly 15 seconds until everything breaks in. The distorted guitar, bass and drums combined together sound like slop. While there are a few mellow parts where the distorted guitar exits and the pianist takes over, these parts are not soothing enough to rid the headache caused by the rest of the song.

Next is “Evangeline,” a track that reminded me very much of the Goo Goo Dolls’ hit “Iris” until the singer comes in. I like to call the sound of this song “light punk,” if there is such a thing.

“Oceanography” is next, which is even more of a headache than “Machete.” I’ll give The Silent Treatment props for writing a punk song in six-eight time, but the bad outweighs the good yet again. The distorted guitar sounds terrible and drowns out the vocals to the point of the listener not comprehending the lyrics, and the only time the vocals are clearly heard is when the vocalist whines incoherently like a dying rabbit.

“Comparing Contrast,” though a witty title, is more garbage. The background music is very jumbled, mostly due to the drummer playing a constant fill instead of a drumbeat during the verses. The song does have a moving chord progression and would probably be a good song had someone else played it.

“The Divine Tragedy” begins with a mellow vibe with only a piano and palm-muted guitar playing off of each other. The song then moves into the harder punk sound and continues swapping moods throughout the song. I could stand listening to this song on the radio if the band touched up the vocals during the chorus.

There is a good chance that the reason this album isn’t “up-to-par” is due in part to the less-than-professional recording studio that produced the CD. Another problem with the album is the distorted guitar not blending well with the drums and bass.

Sometimes talent can make up for this flaw; however, not in The Silent Treatment’s case.