18 Songs, 1 Hour 4 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Doom and dysfunction follow Theory of a Deadman like dark clouds across the tracks of Scars and Souvenirs. This isn’t news, of course — numerous post-grunge and alt-metal groups have erected entire careers upon angst, but what's a bit different here is leader Tyler Connolly’s growing emotional maturity. Tracks like “So Happy,” “Bad Girlfriend” and “Crutch” find Connolly still raking ex-friends and lovers over the coals until their juices sizzle. “Hate My Life” extends this free-floating anger into a wider commentary upon societal breakdown. On these cuts and others, Connolly’s wounded-beast vocals and lacerating guitar licks tear into his victims with righteous bite. But beyond such bruise-inducing tunes, the band shows an increasing ability to deliver bona fide ballads, some of them actually tinged with hope. The uplifting “Heaven (Little by Little)” especially displays a measure of compassion towards a troubled loved one. Musically TOAD continues to invite comparisons with Nickelback’s heavy-treading sound, but there are signs on Scars and Souvenirs that this band is slowly moving away from the grind and gloom of ‘90s grunge towards a fresher form of catharsis.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Doom and dysfunction follow Theory of a Deadman like dark clouds across the tracks of Scars and Souvenirs. This isn’t news, of course — numerous post-grunge and alt-metal groups have erected entire careers upon angst, but what's a bit different here is leader Tyler Connolly’s growing emotional maturity. Tracks like “So Happy,” “Bad Girlfriend” and “Crutch” find Connolly still raking ex-friends and lovers over the coals until their juices sizzle. “Hate My Life” extends this free-floating anger into a wider commentary upon societal breakdown. On these cuts and others, Connolly’s wounded-beast vocals and lacerating guitar licks tear into his victims with righteous bite. But beyond such bruise-inducing tunes, the band shows an increasing ability to deliver bona fide ballads, some of them actually tinged with hope. The uplifting “Heaven (Little by Little)” especially displays a measure of compassion towards a troubled loved one. Musically TOAD continues to invite comparisons with Nickelback’s heavy-treading sound, but there are signs on Scars and Souvenirs that this band is slowly moving away from the grind and gloom of ‘90s grunge towards a fresher form of catharsis.

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