Canadian rock-show Theory of a Deadman have taken a bold new step with the release of fifth studio album – Savages. In what is a certain shift in style, mood and vibe, Savages takes the band to new levels of hard, huge and heavy music. Produced by long time collaborator Howard Benson and his familiar team, the band challenged themselves to step outside of the comfort zone and into unchartered territory for this record.
Having cut their teeth out on the road, the guys have earned themselves a workhorse-like reputation among peers. Countless shows and dedication to their craft works so much in their favour, producing that energy night after night needed to create and deliver songs with enough meaning for people to give a shit. And give a shit they do. The Canadian four-piece are revered among music fans as one of the most distinctive, popular and most importantly relevant hard rock bands in America.
Savages is what appears to be a fresh start in Theory of a Deadman’s career, and this is no more evident than after the first 30 seconds of album opener Drown. We are treated to genuinely ground-shuddering riff, kicking you in the teeth before you even knew it was coming. It’s monstrous, and deserves to be played loud. Vocalist Tyler Connolly enters the scene with a new grungy vocal style, and we can definitely hear the similarities between this and something from an Alice in Chains record. The chorus is full of melody and will no doubt be classic sing-a-long when played live. During the recording process, the band invited one Mr. Alice Cooper to make a guest appearance. It is title track Savages we see this collaboration come fruition. In the full-throttle number led by a driving drum beat, the shock-rock star delivers a spoken word monologue sending shivers down the spine. It’s expertly put together and lends itself entirely to the track.
Not one to stick to any sort of rulebook, the band throw in a few numbers that steer clear of that hard rock label. Piano ballad The One and Livin’ My Life Like a Country Song give us that range of dynamics and instrumentation so often missed in LP’s these days. Despite these changes of genre, there is a certain vibe that encompasses the whole album. Its full of emotion and utilises a sort of heart on the sleeve approach to writing. It’s refreshing.
Savages is a stormer of a record from Theory of a Deadman. It’s a decided step away from their music of old. It’s genuine, honest and just plain down to earth rock music. It carries the weight of the world at times and shakes the ground at others. It is musical, full of strong melodies and carries a hefty punch. With Savages, Theory of a Deadman must take all the credit for sticking to their gut, creating what they felt was right and what was necessary as a band.