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Monotony-Charged Warriors - 52%

Thumbman, December 2nd, 2019

I'm afraid Wastëland Riders really put me to sleep here. Their sole full length Death Arrives is an aggressively average entry into a style that has been done to death. The whole Motörbastard style is totally one I can dig - I'll be the first to say that Midnight and Whipstriker have released some great stuff. However, the whole high octane mixing Motörhead with various styles of punk (and sometimes flirting with more extreme stylings) thing is more or less a dead end in terms of artistic progression. This means bands in this niche will sink or swim based solely on the quality of their riffs and their songwriting prowess. When you're stuck in a scene where most bands sound the same, you're going to really need to kick ass to make your mark. Unfortunately, despite what their lyrics might have you believe, Wastëland Riders don't kick a particularly large quantity of ass at all. Being an unremarkable band in a style that's been done to death makes Death Arrives come off as an exercise in redundancy.

Wastëland Riders make no secret about their unabashed love for Motörhead . What they seem to fail to grasp is what made Motörhead so great in the first place. Sure, Motörhead had an incredible style, but that in and of itself is not what made them great - it's what they did with that style. Lemmy being such an enigmatic front man definitely was a huge part of their success and the sheer force of his personality is a massive selling for the band. But more than that, at the top of their game their riffs were untouchable (and even a weaker Motörhead album is head and shoulders above most bands), and an immense amount of attention was given to songwriting. The thing here is that it doesn't seem like our wasteland warriors care much about songwriting. It seems like they cobbled together songs around a bunch of riffs they had lying around and just went with it. The riffs here aren't bad - they're just kind of there. You have lots of recycled Motörhead riffs, some punkier action and sole album standout "Ritual of Death" flirts with first wave stylings. Some guitar leads are thrown in, and they're fine but hardly something to write home again. As for the vocals, they're halfway between Lemmy's hoarse croons and harsh vocals. They're fine and do their job, but they're rarely catchy or memorable.

"Death Arrives" is decidedly unambitious and seems to only exist to provide a serviceable experience for fans of bands that love aping Motörhead. Everything about this seems so phoned in - the riffs and songwriting are half-assed, the drumming is boring, the production middling . . . well, I think you get the picture. My problem with them isn't so much that they don't have an original sound, it's that they do something so aggressively average with that sound. If you're going to do something so unoriginal, at least do a good job.