Theory of a Deadman – Dinosaur (Album Review)

Sustaining themselves for over twenty years, Canadian Rock band Theory of a Deadman has seen it all. First attracting the attention of Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, who signed the band to his 604 Records imprint in 2001, Theory of a Deadman found themselves on various big tours, earning themselves plenty of exposure. Releasing their debut self-titled album in 2002, it sold well, and in 2005 they returned with Gasoline. Two albums in, and amidst the industry shift from physical format to digital format distribution, Theory of a Deadman still managed to flourish with 2008’s Scars & Souvenirs, 2011’s The Truth Is…, and don’t look now, but they are now eight albums into their career as we move along in 2023! 

Returning after the release of Say Nothing in 2020, which was driven with lyrics about social issues, 2023’s Dinosaur offers a bit of a different approach. Released on March 17th via Roadrunner Records, the new album consists of ten songs that are a unification of Country, Acoustic Rock, and more straight-ahead Rock-n-Roll. Not really unique to anything the band has done in the past, as stated, it is very different from Say Nothing. Here, Tyler Connolly and company still offer topical lyrical content, that is sometimes dripping with sarcasm, but the drive behind the music itself is much rawer. That in mind, the songs, and the way they are placed in the track listing, plays out quite well.

It all starts with the album title-track which brings on some Blues elements, but all while possessing lyrics that remind us how far humanity has truly fallen. Featuring a rhythm that grows rougher, on the other side, you have the catchy guitar driven “Medusa (Stone)” about a seducing woman, before the calm before the storm on “Sick” where a soft banjo beginning gives way to full-blown Rock. 

Then, you cannot help but smirk when you hear Connolly sing his take on Bill Withers’ classic “Just the Two of Us” with “Two of Us (Stuck).” Complete with the same melody line of the original tune, Connolly’s words are much less positive and more about the dysfunctionality of a damned relationship. Energizes you to try and get out of the state of being stuck in place, this could be an album highlight. Moving forward, you have Red Hot Chili Peppers’ vibed “Ambulance,” melancholic “Sideways” that does not mince words about someone’s internal battle, and the heavy “Get in Line” From here “Head in the Clouds” is more hopeful, “Hearts Too Wild” offers insight to what life can be like on the road, and “Summer Song” ends the album in a catchy, Everclear styled way. 

Overall, Theory of a Deadman’s Dinosaur tackles both interpersonal and romantic relationships. With that, the songs cover topics that most likely all of us can relate to in one way or another. Each song comes with a catchy arrangement that will either get you swaying along or humming along. Fitting well alongside some of the band’s stronger material, Cryptic Rock gives Dinosaur 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Theory of a Deadman – Dinosaur / Roadrunner Records (2023)
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