13 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When grunge breeds with mainstream hard rock, the offspring looks something like Theory of a Deadman. On Gasoline, the band’s initial connection with Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger is downplayed as the Canadian combo further defines its own identity. Singer/guitarist Tyler Connolly’s angst-ridden snarl achieves nuance, particularly on country-tinged numbers like “In the Middle” and “Hello Lonely (Walk Away From This).” Other tracks, like “Hating Hollywood” and “Say Goodbye,” allow him to vent his bottomless spleen with less subtlety and more primal rage. The band’s aggression is channeled into some appealing outlets, including bouncy-yet-crunchy pop (“No Surprise”) and ragged balladry (“Santa Monica”). But for all their market-friendliness, the album’s songs are almost unremittingly bitter towards the opposite sex — from the scarred survival anthem “Quiver” to the short, nasty and funny “Hell Just Ain’t the Same,” the band doesn’t display much faith in love. The music’s sting is intensified by TOAD’s improved musicianship, with Connolly and co-guitarist Dave Brenner leavening their pummeling electric riffs with acoustic interludes.

EDITORS’ NOTES

When grunge breeds with mainstream hard rock, the offspring looks something like Theory of a Deadman. On Gasoline, the band’s initial connection with Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger is downplayed as the Canadian combo further defines its own identity. Singer/guitarist Tyler Connolly’s angst-ridden snarl achieves nuance, particularly on country-tinged numbers like “In the Middle” and “Hello Lonely (Walk Away From This).” Other tracks, like “Hating Hollywood” and “Say Goodbye,” allow him to vent his bottomless spleen with less subtlety and more primal rage. The band’s aggression is channeled into some appealing outlets, including bouncy-yet-crunchy pop (“No Surprise”) and ragged balladry (“Santa Monica”). But for all their market-friendliness, the album’s songs are almost unremittingly bitter towards the opposite sex — from the scarred survival anthem “Quiver” to the short, nasty and funny “Hell Just Ain’t the Same,” the band doesn’t display much faith in love. The music’s sting is intensified by TOAD’s improved musicianship, with Connolly and co-guitarist Dave Brenner leavening their pummeling electric riffs with acoustic interludes.

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