Canadian rockers, Theory of a Deadman, release their eighth studio album, Dinosaur, on March 17th via Roadrunner Records.
Formed in 1999, Theory of a Deadman jump-started their career as the first act to sign on Chad Kroeger’s (Nickelback) 604 Records and their self-titled debut album went Platinum. Two decades later and Theory continues to win music awards and pump out hit after radio hit. While the band’s signature sound continues to artistically evolve the band’s lineup has not changed since 2008. Frontman and lead guitarist, Tyler Connolly, and his bandmates, Dave Brenner (guitar, backing vocals), Dean Back (bass), and Joey Dandeneau (drums, backing vocals) have once again created a well-rounded album with Dinosaur.
One of the things that set Theory apart from other acts is their gift to lyrically tackle hard conversations and speak about everyday life and counterbalance it with hopeful and playful melodies. Their last album Say Nothing was released on January 31, 2020, and featured the hit single, “History of Violence,” a song that addressed domestic violence. Their latest album, Dinosaur, is no exception with subjects such as mental health, social media wellness, death, and environmental change.
Dinosaur is a musical mixtape, full of nostalgia and raw human emotions. Perfect for blasting through your speakers at a party or traveling down a lone road with the windows wide open. It’s a collection of tracks that showcase the band’s musical versatility and their ability to create catchy, radio-friendly songs that still pack a punch.
The album opens with the title track “Dinosaur,” a hard-hitting alt-rock tune with heavy guitar riffs and gritty vocals, reminiscent of the band’s earlier work. It’s a strong start to the album that immediately grabs your attention. It’s lyrically multifaceted and its meaning can be left to interpretation. However, when Connolly sings “Carl Sagan rolling in his grave” and “We were warned, now we’re going out like the Dinosaurs,” you could interpret the song as a slight social commentary on global warming.
There’s a great variety of sounds and styles represented on the album from the country rap “Ambulance” to the post-punk “Summer Song,” showcasing the band’s experimentation with different genres.
“Medusa (Stone)” is a playful, romantic rock ballad capturing all of the emotion of a bad love affair, using references to the Greek Gorgonian Protectrus famous for her snake-like flowing locks and turning men to stone after glancing into her eyes.
The album’s latest single “Two Of Us (Stuck)” is a blues and funk remix of the classic Bill Withers tune with a Theory-styled twist. Changing the lyrics and tone of the original from “Castles in the Sky” into much darker lyrics “Our Love Dying.” The track starts off sweet and slow with beautiful key work then builds with intensity as Connolly’s soulful vocals combine with the heavier metal sounds from Brenner’s electric guitar and hard-hitting beats from Dandeneau on drums.
Fans who appreciate the band’s softer side may get a little emotional hearing “Sideways,” a waltz-like piano-laden song. Connolly’s vocals are isolated and vulnerable as he beautifully cries, “I’m not OK,” as he laments on the toil your body can take just surviving.
“Sick,” the third track, is probably the best example of Theory’s art of combining both soft and hard melodies all while hiding thought-provoking words under their subtle sarcasm. It starts with a solo ukulele and the kick drum for the first 30 seconds before the rest of the band joins in with a bang. The song weaves in and out between the two styles while Connolly quips about the illness brought on by social media addiction.
Altogether, Dinosaur is a strong album that will appeal to both long-time fans of Theory of a Deadman and newcomers. The songs are well-crafted, the lyrics are relatable, and the band’s musicianship is on full display.
Theory is currently on an international tour in support of the new album. Tour dates and information can be found on the band’s website and Facebook page. Dinosaur is out on March 17 and can be pre-ordered here.