Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Wasteland - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Wasteland

by Tim Sentz Rating:7 Release Date:2018-10-12
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Wasteland
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Wasteland

Uncle Acid and his deadbeats sound like they were ripped directly from a 70s horror film soundtrack. Gothic, heavy metal-tinged, and fierce, the band has ripped through four albums in the last decade and filled each one from start to finish with grinding riffage. Back in 2015, The Night Creeper launched them to a larger platform in the psych-rock realm and took them all over the world while being mentioned in the same circles as Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, King Tuff, and Meatbodies. Their brand of psych-rock-meets-classic-metal has garnered fans of Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, and even Alice Cooper.

All of these references are really just a way to describe the product of Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats. They essentially sound like all of those aforementioned bands/influences, all rolled together, sparked, and inhaled. Stoner riffs, psych freakouts, they are poster children for this small, but thriving genre. Thing is, with Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats is that you hear one album/song, you’ve essentially heard them all. And if you’re a fan of the bands already mentioned, then it’s kind of typical to have this notion. Even the most revered icons like Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Halford knew they had to change up their sound if they were ever to maintain success.

Wasteland isn’t even concerned with these issues. The gang makes a niche genre, and fans of the genre know it’ll be derivative of the last album, and the album before that, and so on. Wasteland opens like any other Acid record, though a bit of organ playing precludes the full arrival of “I See Through You,” it’s still the grand exclamation of psych(y) garage rock these guys are known for. Kevin R. Starr’s (aka Uncle Acid) handles all of the vocals, and his lyrical dynamics haven’t changed at all in the last decade. Production wise, Wasteland keeps things muddy, rough, and noisy, so Acid doesn’t need to really expand his vocal duties since they are almost entirely submerged in this sludgy sound.  “Shockwave City” keeps it all moving along at the break-neck speed – a runaway riff that molds the soundtrack of a Mad Max film to Acid’s shriek.

Everything about Wasteland lives up to the name. The record focuses on a wasteland and the traversing and pillaging that occurs with it. Even the bleakness shines through on their song titles “No Return,” “Blood Runner.” If you haven’t picked it up yet, this is one of those post-apocalyptic albums, and there might be a hint at deeper meaning, but Acid doesn’t dare take it that direction – he’s too restrained to wear any hearts on sleeves at this point in their career. And even though “No Return” stretches to 9 minutes, it doesn’t offer anything new to the genre, or to Uncle Acid.

It’s not so much a bad record, as it’s just a record. That’s it. Wasteland does little to expand the genre, and even though it’ll most definitely appeal to fans of the band and the genre, it will do nothing for those of us seeking just a tad bit more out of our music. A serviceable follow-up, but it’s often bland and uninteresting for those growing tired of this genre.

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