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Theory of a Deadman – “Scars and Souvenirs” (2008) April 13, 2009

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2008, Theory of a Deadman.

Written by Andrew Hart

Theory of a Deadman’s been riding the recent resurgence of party rock from bands that newcomers like Rev Theory, Hinder, and Saving Abel have gotten increasingly popular for.  For all intents and purposes though, they were here first.  Making their debut in 2002, Theory has finally recieved a fair bit of attention for their most recent album, thanks to several hit songs that many people have already heard.  But hits do not a good album make, so does the rest of Theory of a Deadman’s Scars and Souvenirs stack up to these popular songs?

Well the first of those songs will be the first one to establish itself on this record.  “So Happy” is upbeat and headstrong, cramming itself into your brain with an aggressive chorus and Tyler Connolly’s vocal twang.  If you’ve been needing a song to kick someone out of the house to, you’ll find no more killer tune than “So Happy.”  “By The Way” is a powerful scorcher of a track with a similar theme to its predecessor, but with less rock and roll and more flat out emotion.  The back up vocals from Chris Daughtry provide an epic outro as the chorus repeats itself for the final time late in the song.  “Got It Made” will have you singing along by the first minute, and the same can be said for “Crutch” and the ridiculously raunchy and well-known “Bad Girlfriend.”  Meanwhile power ballads like “Not Meant To Be” and “All Or Nothing” stand out despite their cliched lyrics.

Theory of a Deadman consistantly draws comparison to Nickelback for their relatively juvenille lyrics and style of catchy rock and roll.  Where the comparison needs to end is the vocal prowess of Tyler Connolly, who stretches out his range and lung capacity with the incredibly fast moving “Bad Girlfriend.”  It can’t be easy to sing that song, especially while playing its infectious guitar riff, yet Connolly pulls it off in stride.  On top of that, Theory of a Deadman knocks every song out of the park with unique and diverse hooks, evident by the uplifting “Heaven (Little By Little)” or the anthemic “Hate My Life.”  The contagious drumming and strumming of each song will pull out the air instrument in anyone.

Those previously pointed out cons are certainly a factor though.  Songs like “Hate My Life” are an embarassment to songwriters ever.  I don’t care how catchy the song may be after ten listens, a verse like “So sick of the hobos always begging for change, I don’t like how I gotta work and they just sit around and get paid,” is absolutely inexcusable.  As noted, many of the lyrics are cliche and are near the bottom of the barrel even compared to most other modern rock bands.  It’s also worth pointing out that none of the members of the band seem to be incredibly proficient with their instruments, as each song contains mostly basic beats and riffs.  Still, each song fits well, so it’s hard to complain about a major lack of experimentation.

Scars and Souvenirs is at the end of the day, a rock record and that’s about it.  There’s some shining moments, and there’s some rather groan-worthy ones.  As a whole the album is a nice disc to throw on while driving around town or rocking out with some friends, but it’s not going to impress any music savants or really stand out amongst some other records.  It’s just fun, addictive rock and roll, and that was probably what Theory of a Deadman was shooting for anyway.

7 out of 10 – Download “By The Way”

Theory of a Deadman is | Tyler Connolly – Vocals, Lead Guitar | Dave Brenner – Rhythm Guitar | Dean Back – Bass | Joey Dandeneau – Drums



1. KGGPennington - April 13, 2009

Maybe they should actually practice their instruments to get better? it’s a start…

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