Canadian rockers Theory of A Deadman have returned with their first album in 3 years with latest cut Savages. What do we get here on this their fifth album, well what we have heard from lead man Tyler Connolly is that this time he is not writing about breaking up with girls, this time he is writing about the state of the world we live in. Could this be a new start for the band, a more political direction made up of tough talking passages of social commentary? Sadly not, this is radio friendly, unit shifting, Nickleback-lite.
It actually opens with a slight glimmer of promise with the riff of ‘Drown’, also the first single to be taken from the album. Sadly then the vocals start up and all i can think is of that time in the early noughties when bands like Puddle Of Mudd were all over the rock music channels.
‘Blow’ follows and instantly makes my whole body cringe. It uses swear words, it name checks easy targets like Chris Brown, The Kardashians, reality TV stars, etc. Basically it targets the sort of thing a band of kids in a rock band would use but added a big budget production (which is top-notch) and been written for no other reason but to get radio plays. Kind of Ironic really.
Legendary rock god Alice Cooper joins the band on album namesake ‘Savages’. Like the opener it once again opens with a nice riff, quite sinister and this song does have a chorus that is catchy, so far so good, that is until the spoken word part and once again it’s cringe-worthy territory. The lyrics are straight up from the book of an angry sixth-former. It is what the word cliche was written for.
We don’t want to be too critical and dump all over this album, it doesn’t help anybody and there are a few positives on this record so i’ll focus on those for a while. First up the production on Savages is excellent. It sounds like a big rock record throughout. Also the band do know how to write a radio rock song and this album, like the ones they have released before will no doubt go platinum and the fans of the band will probably love it. ‘Salt In The Wound’ is a pretty good tune.
The main thing really is that this album doesn’t do anything, it’s all pretty similar, riff-cheesy vocal-chorus-repeat. It does change when we reach ‘The One’ which goes into piano ballad territory. The positive in it is that it shows that Connolly can actually sing when he is not forcing that ‘tough guy’ rock star voice but to be honest it makes me think of one of those ballads you would get on South Park or Team America.
We stay slow for ‘Livin’ My Life Like A Country song’ which is basically an out and out country song. To be honest this is the most comfortable the band sound on the whole album and is best written track on Savages. A future in country could be just what this band needs. We then return to familiar territory for the track ‘World War Me’ and then that’s it.
All in all if you are already a fan of Theory Of A Deadman or bands like Nickleback and Shinedown then you will probably love it. If that is not your bag stay well away or you will be pulling the sort of face you do when you bite into a lemon.