With over a decade and four albums to solidify their gloomy, angsty hard rock with a hint of grunge medley style of music, it’s not a surprise that Theory of a Deadman stuck to their roots in their latest release Savages. Did I expect them to do a complete 180 on their fans by putting out an album far from their style? Not really. But at least they attempted to play around with little additions, genre exploration, and incorporating current themes into Savages without trying too hard or being obvious (okay, with the exception of one).
The great thing about this album is that while Theory of a Deadman didn’t stray too far from their musical style, they still discussed relevant themes that we tend to not take as seriously as others. They bring to light the fact that in today’s work force we will lie, cheat, scream, fight and everything in between in order to get ourselves to the top because we fear failure (“Misery of Mankind”). A humorous blues-rock-meets-honky-tonk indication of how today’s society tends to get way too wrapped up in the lives of celebrities and what is going on in social media is portrayed in the form of the pop culture riddled “Blow”. The album’s title track (which features the famous Alice Cooper) is a sing song-y harder rock track that brings up a strong point on how we should be wanting the future generation to be far from what society currently is instead of striving to make them replicas of ourselves.
Their first released single “Drown” starts off the album with bubbling background effects and tasteful distortions during the chorus lines of “why did you let me go?” and “why did you let my drown?” The theme of feeling completely broken by someone is continued in “Salt in the Wound”, as well as the sorrowful “Angel” (being in love with someone but letting them go because they deserve so much better than you) and “The One” (blaming of oneself set to somber pianos and strings).
They attempted venturing into a different genre with “Livin’ My Life Like a Country Song” and it is living proof that Theory of a Deadman is a ROCK band and should never ever EVER go country despite a slight twang in frontman Tyler Connolly (ironic because he’s Canadian). But thank goodness the rest of the album is redeemed by guitar-focused tracks like “In Ruins”, “Heavy” and “War In Me”. Even their perfect embodiment of a horror movie track “Panic Room” is better than that country track. The album respectfully ends with “The Sun Has Set On Me”.
Savages overall is very much like Theory of a Deadman’s past works – heavily guitar influenced with gritty, angst-filled vocals. It discusses current topics while still giving us hard rock tracks about anger-filled heartbreak. It was cool that they tried to ‘branch out’ with “Livin’ My Life Like a Country Song”, but honestly they need to stick to the original style that they intrigued their fans with.