Review Summary: While it still turned out to be a post grunge record like its predecesor, I can honestly say that it is a pretty solid offering.
Theory of a Deadman is one of those bands who got *** on by the music world as soon as their songs hit airways back in 2002. Their self-titled record felt too derivative of what Nickelback was doing on their breakthrough "Silver Side Up", which is not strange considering Chad Kroeger co-wrote majority of that record. So, Theory of a Deadman had a task to distance themselves from their mentors in case they wanted to be taken more seriously. This is their follow-up, Gasoline.
While it still turned out to be a post grunge record like its predecesor, I can honestly say that it is a pretty solid offering. They kind of tried to move away from NB by infusing elements of southern rock in their music, and for the most part it worked in their favor, however...
There is one major issue with this record, and it is not its genericness, neither it is its repetitiveness (Literally every song is a breakup anthem). It is its inconsistency. By this I mean that while the sound is consistent, the songs quality isn't. First half easily beats the second one, which is not only kinda tiring when you hear the same subjects over again, but it is so ballad-heavy and not nearly as memorable as the first half.
The first half, while being lyrically repetitive, consists mostly of hard rocking tunes, like the catchy lead-off single "No Surprise", or IDGAF anthem " Better Off", and arpeggio-driven hard rocker "Say Goodbye". The two opening tracks and "Quiver" maybe aren't as good, but they are still really fun and the formula works really good. The song I want to give special mention to is "Santa Monica", the only real ballad in the first half. Driven by harmonic riff which goes along with beautiful acoustic progression, it is both musically and lyrically the strongest on the record. Tyler sings about his girlfriend - leaving for Santa Monica, and you can actually hear that he cared a lot for this song, and the song gets louder as it goes on and it is amazing.
Something that can't really be said for the rest of the record, because as soon as "Say Goodbye" is over, you get "Hello Lonely (Walk Away From This)" which is easily my favorite song on the second half, and it is not really anything outstanding. None of the rest are, it just kinda devolves as it goes on, and when the final cut "In The Middle" ends, I ask myself the *** I've been listening to for the past 20 minutes.
Don't get me wrong, it ain't anything terrible, it is just sort of mediocre and substanceless. Repetitiveness gets really annoying and the music is not as good as it was. Some highlights sure can be found in harder cuts like "Save the Best for Last" and "Me and My Girl", but the ballads are so hard to remember that you forget about them as soon as they end, and there is really no replay factor, which kind of makes me sad, cause I was trying my best to love it, but I just...couldn't.
Overall, I still really like "Gasoline". It's more fun that the first one, the sound is less derivative, Tyler's vocals are much better and it gives better overall product. I will repeat that inconsistency of good or great songs kind of kills the album in the end, but not enough bad stuff is there to really dislike any of it.
Faves: No Surprise, Santa Monica, Say Goodbye
Least faves: In The Middle, Hell Just Ain't the Same