December 2, 2014 Theory of a Deadman – Savages (Album Review)
Canadian rock band Theory of a Deadman have been going strong for thirteen years now. Garnishing the attention of Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, they became the first act signed to his 604 Records imprint label, and 2002 saw the release of their debut self-titled album. Opening for acts like Three Doors Down, among others, the band quickly gained attention with an accessible sound and heart-felt lyrics. Now established as one of modern Rock’s elite, the band has achieved a list of chart topping singles and top selling albums. Consisting of founding members Tyler Connolly (vocals/guitar), Dave Brenner (guitar/vocals), Dean Back (bass/vocals), and joining the bunch in 2009, Joey Dandeneau (drums), Theory of a Deadman are back with a brand new album in 2014 titled Savages. Experimenting with a variety of sounds over the years, ranging from Hard Rock to Pop Rock, Theory of a Deadman look to continue their progress with the first album they’ve released since 2011’s The Truth Is… Bringing back highly accomplished Rock producer Howard Benson, Savages features a variety of styles ranging from Post-Grunge to Alternative Rock to acoustic to Country.
The album opens heavy and strong with lead single “Drown,” with bass that is intense and introduction powerful. The title track, “Savages,” which features the Godfather of Rock, Alice Cooper, has a thought-provoking message about who we are and what we are about, along with an explosion of guitar riffs which fit perfectly with Mr. Cooper’s guest vocals. This Hard Rock is offset by some ballads including “Angel” and “The One,” a piano driven love song for the ladies. Keeping the record balanced, thrown in the middle of the two softer tracks is “Panic Room,” which is another guitar-driven, heavy piece. Conveying feelings of being trapped, stuck, and stressed, Connolly perfectly brings the song to life making the listener want to run with him. Another cameo is made by Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts in a modern style country song with a catchy riff titled “Livin’ My Life As A Country Song.” The acoustic guitars are a nice touch as Rooney and Connolly’s voices combine for a glorious track that could easily be another single. Bringing back the crunching heavier guitars, “World War Me” has an undeniable groove, while closing track “The Sun Has Set On Me” is perhaps one of the most complete songs of Savages. Clocking in at just over five minutes, the latter has everything from children’s choruses to a tingling mix of guitar sounds, making it an impressive end to the album.
Savages seems to have more musicality then the band’s previous album, and its lyrics step it up a notch, setting a mood for each song. Each track has very catchy riffs, and listeners will find themselves singing along from start to finish. Squashing the notion that any Rock band that gets heavy air play on the radio must have shallow lyrics, the topics addressed in the tracks on Savages are much heavier then expected, which is a pleasant surprise. Connolly’s strong lead vocals, while consistent, appear more diverse than ever, and the melodies will get stuck in the audience’s head from the very first listen. Savages is a grinding and moving record that never lets up. CrypticRock gives Savages 3.5 stars out of 5.