Review Summary: 'The Truth Is...' Theory Of A Deadman aren't that well liked, but that's not stopping them
Every three years since their self titled debut album in 2002, Theory of a Deadman tends to release a new album. Since the year is 2011 that means it’s about that time for them to unleash a new record and the truth is... They have. After their 2008 effort ‘Scars & Souvenirs’ went platinum in Canada and the US, Theory of a Deadman knew they had a hard task to beat it. Even though the album went platinum the truth is... Lead singer Tyler Connolly copped heaps of flack for writing often misogynistic lyrics and having a band surrounding him that sounded all too familiar. However this didn’t seem to worry any of people that bought the album, although the truth is... ‘Scars & Souvenirs’ wasn’t an album well regarded by critics. Apart from this negative view towards the band I’ve followed them since their debut, have liked some of their music and I’ve always felt they are different from the other bands that clog the genre. So the truth is... I was interested to see how their fourth album was going to turn out and the truth is... it’s not that bad. Oh and ‘The Truth Is...’ is the name of their new album.
‘The Truth Is...’ kicks off with the first single off the album, ‘Lowlife’ and begins with a 40 second pounding bass line and drum beat. The song’s lyrics revolve around being the bottom rung of society, living in a trailer park and being proud of it. ‘Lowlife’ showcases how well Tyler Connolly’s lyrics have improved since the early days and now his not afraid write songs that incorporate a little humour. Some of the best lines off this track include a reference to Joe Dirt and the use of the phase ‘getting trailer trashed tonight’. The next song ‘Bitch Came Back’ is yet again upbeat, catchy as hell and is only a song Theory of a Deadman could get away with. Half way through the track the use of trumpets becomes apparent and can be heard in the background for the rest of the song. This combination of trumpets works well with the grungy guitars and helps propel the song towards a huge catchy finish. After two upbeat catchy tracks to open the album, Theory of a Deadman now deliver a song called ‘Hurricane’, which tries to mix the album up early. ‘Hurricane’ is a slower song that mixes a swirling array of strings with sound effects like rain and thunder, trying to create an overall atmospheric feel. Ultimately though, this song feels as though it has missed the mark and doesn’t hit as hard as it should. ‘Out Of My Head’ continues this softer section of the album and is the first attempt at a ballad on this release. This is the catchiest song on the entire record and although the lyrics are bland, it has a hook that will get stuck in your head for days.
The remainder of the album contains some notable tracks such as ‘Gentlemen’, ‘The Truth Is...(I Lied About Everything)’ and ‘Drag Me To Hell’, without forgetting those who like the slower songs with ballads such as ‘Head Above Water’ and ‘Easy To Love You’. Most of these songs either incorporate tongue in cheek lyrics with a quick tempo or are a slower love song. All of these songs have been produced well, but some are just more memorable than others. Tracks like ‘The Truth Is...’ are very enjoyable and features a unique twist with a ukulele from the beginning of the song. However other tracks like ‘Head Above Water’ are too familiar and really doesn’t do anything special for me at all. Theory of a Deadman keep the unique little twists coming by featuring trumpets again on another track titled ‘Gentlemen’ and Tyler Connolly even makes a reference to his self in the song ‘What Was I Thinking’. ‘The Truth Is...’ closes with a serious and hard hitting track titled ‘We Were Men’ which is influenced lyrically by the effects of war on soldiers, but still fails to make the mark it should have made.
Overall, Theory of a Deadman has released an album with multiple sides that tries to please everyone. Some tracks are soft ballads, some are catchy upbeat tunes and some are hard rock tracks that sound like early Theory of a Deadman. Unique little inclusions like the use of trumpets, xylophones and ukuleles keeps this album sounding fresh and set it apart from other albums in this genre. As well as adding all these little twists Theory still manage to serve up their usual hard edged post grunge rock combined with small hints of their early minor southern influenced sound. The music they offer is good although the drumming sounds tired and is only really a stand out on the track ‘Drag Me To Hell’, which is an album highlight. Tyler Connolly’s lyrics also help set Theory apart from other bands whether his complaining about women or not, his lyrics are often humorous, catchy and have improved vastly since their debut. Tyler himself has stated recently that “musically not much has changed” and that he had an epiphany of that when he writes he either “wants to kiss someone on the lips or punch them in the face. Anything in between is boring.” This shows that Theory of a Deadman now know their identity and with ‘The Truth Is...’ sees them trying to find their own niche in the market.
Also the only memorable song on the Special Edition is titled 'Does It Really Matter' which sounds shockingly sincere, other then that non stand out.