Theory of a Deadman: 'The Truth Is...' CD Review


In the past few years, these four cats from Canada – who turn out loud & proud melodic arena-rock with a gritty, bluesy edge and a cocky sense of humor – have risen up from a modest but loyal following to score platinum sales and crossover fame with their album Scars & Souvenirs, and topped the radio charts in 2008 with their single "Bad Girlfriend." Back this summer with their latest full-length, they've also hit the road this month for the 2010 "Carnival of Madness" North American tour along with Black Stone Cherry, Adleita's Way, Alter Bridge and Emphatic. They just might be headed to your neck of the woods soon, and that's why you need to check out our review of their fourth studio album The Truth Is... and get the plain truth.

Comprised of frontman/guitarist Tyler Connolly, rhythm guitarist David Brenner, bassist Dean Back and drummer Joey Dandeneau, Deadman managed to keep a foothold on the charts ever since Scars broke big, and so far they've managed to top that success with this latest release – which offers fans more of what they love. It's no departure from their tried-and-true formula, but hey, there's no need to fix what ain't broke, so the only thing they've tweaked a bit this time around is the lyrical content, which can be a bit more intense in tracks like the brooding "Drag Me to Hell" and the sweeping orchestra-backed "Hurricane," while cuts like "We Were Men" reveal the band's more serious lyrical face. But overall they maintain that party-rock vibe that made their reputation, and what works in Scars, works here too.

"We had a bit of an epiphany when it came to songwriting," Connolly explains about the new material. "We've been a band for over a decade now, and we realized what we're doing makes sense. There was a lot more confidence. I was able to dig in lyrically and be wide open. When I write, I either want to kiss someone on the lips or punch them in the face. Anything in between is boring."

The band's aggressive, strutting playfulness is the engine that drives this album, especially in the ballsy cuts "Gentleman" and "The Bitch Came Back" (featuring a bodacious, wonderfully overblown horn section), the bouncy title track "The Truth Is (I Lied About Everything)" and the album opener "Lowlife" – a wild and raunchy tribute to the everyday working class hellraiser. "I thought it'd be cool to write a fun anthem about being a lowlife," Connolly explained. "It's okay to drive an old piece of shit car, get arrested and be a dirtball. Our fans aren't wearing suits and ties. They don't have diamond necklaces. They're regular people who like to party and sing rock 'n' roll music. The song speaks to them." The spirit of that song (and a tip of the hat to The Big Lebowski) is also captured in the music video, which you can watch below.

Of course it's not all ground-pounding rock; there's a fair balance of ballads offered here, including the Aerosmith-style "Love is Hell" and the mellower "Easy to Love You," but on the whole they're not nearly as memorable (although there is a warm and smooth acoustic version of the latter on the Special Edition CD that makes for a good chill-out track). I'd say stick with the upbeat songs to tap into that final end-of-summer energy, and you can't go wrong.

Check out the new video for "Lowlife" (featuring Donal Logue as the slacker anti-hero) and you'll see what I mean... and if you dig what you hear, you might still have a chance to see the band live this month, so drop by the Carnival of Madness site for the full list of venues.