I only got this one a day or three ago and it’s out on July 28th so time for a quick run-through of the new album from Canada’s Theory of a Deadman, Savages.
The first time I heard the band was on Rock Radio (before it went up its own arse, got rebranded as another bland “classic rock” station and then ended up disappearing to be replaced with more commercial shit) a couple of years back when they were pushing The Truth Is… That, to me, was a superb album. Bouncy, fun, with a self-deprecating sense of humour. It suited the band live and was one of those albums that I wondered if a band could ever top.
Savages is different. Rather than try to outdo themselves in the same style as Truth, ToaD have slimmed things down a little and released an album of tracks which don’t sound quite so brash. The quick-fire vocals are still there on tracks such as “Blow”, but they’re tempered by notably slower and more dirty-sounding numbers like opener “Drown”. Of course, the use of semi-distorted vocals is use throughout. It seems to be pretty much a trademark of Connolly’s.
Going back in ToaD’s catalogue, they’ve done music like this before and Savages comes across like a best-of compilation of new songs – cherry picking styles and influences from their older material and basing new stuff on it. In other words, don’t expect anything “new” sound-wise, but don’t expect it to be Truth part 2 either.
I was pleased to see (well, hear) the mighty Alice Cooper doing guest vocals on the title track. Unlike Matt Heafy‘s guest vocals on DragonForce‘s “Defenders”, you can clearly make out Alice’s work and he’s a great choice. I won’t spoil it for you – it’s worth the listen!
The closest thing to a power ballad – and I’d expect it to appear as a single as a result – is “Angel”, which is a fairly downbeat piece but one which will have audiences clapping their hands over their heads if they play it live. To highlight its difference to the rest of the album it’s followed by the appropriately-named “Heavy”. Which is. At least, as far as ToaD are concerned anyway. Further on we have “The One” which is a real ballad with keyboards and everything, and “In Ruins” which is a little more upbeat.
It’s hard to pick out a highlight in an album with so much variety. I’d probably go for “Blow” or the tongue-in-cheek “Livin’ My Life Like a Country Song”.
So have they managed to produce something better than The Truth Is…? Not in my opinion, no – but it was a hard act to follow and doesn’t make Savages a bad album by any stretch. A great rock and roll album with a couple of tracks for everyone.
Don’t forget that Theory of a Deadman are touring with Black Stone Cherry and Airborne in October as well. There may still be tickets available!
- Savages (feat. Alice Cooper)
- Misery Of Mankind
- Salt In The Wound
- Panic Room
- The One
- Livin’ My Life Like A Country Song (feat. Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts)
- World War Me
- In Ruins
- The Sun Has Set On Me