By Christine Leonard
Rise Above Records
Coming to you off the mean streets of “Shockwave City” AKA Cambridgeshire, England, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats are a gritty, but pretty ensemble of rock wheelers who have made a name for themselves with their tame locks and fuzzy lines.
Softening the shoulders of the hardest asphalt plain, the motorcycle gang on strings looks to lead voyageur Kevin Starrs to set their course. For 2018, Starrs has elected to take the band into the Wasteland (Rise Above Records), a cosmic desert populated by powerful wizards and intoxicating earworms of the most purple stripe. Arising from the waxy depths of The Night Creeper (2015), Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats are expanding their library of psychedelic overtures with Wasteland.
A boozy and bluesy walk through the darkened forests of the psyche, “No Return” hooks you by the entrails and drags you into the action. A vortex of lazy vocals and hypnotic thrums stir the cauldron as time-warping bassist Vaughn Stokes and drummer Jon Rice lean into each other for support. The triangulation of their sandbag heavy rhythms and Starrs’s sweltering ’70s rock-god incantations cast a heady spell that pulses through the reckless ambition of “Blood Runner” and the equally glamorous “Stranger Tonight.” Descending the spiral staircase with “Bedouin” and “Exodus,” Wasteland salutes the epic with a sprawling visionary songbook, encouraging close listening and attention to detail. This is highly digestible conditioning for the easily distracted.Record Review, Rise Above Records, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Wasteland