Today, I delve into the familiar world of another old-school rock/punk/thrash metal project, Wasted Maniacs, hailing from the Ruhr, Essen, Germany. I am writing about their debut studio album, Attack of the Pack, which was released on September 1, 2023.
WASTED MANIACS – Dirty Sarah [Official Video]
Filmed and edited by: Dominik Scharf Mix & Master: Petar Bratanov - Pepinio RecordsMusic & Lyrics: Nick Santias, Kristian KudiesRecorded by: Wasted ManiacsPublisher: Satura-Musikverlag
Another Wednesday evening in this surreal period of my life in the Swiss mountains, as it gets darker with every passing minute. Today, I’m writing about a record that has challenged me the most over the last few days. I had to take some time off and think, to find the right words for interpreting my feelings after my experience. In fact, the less punky version of this subgenre was the music that got me started listening to metal music as a teenager, so I share the enthusiasm.
First and foremost, the “Attack of the Pack” album stands out for its familiar and traditional concept. From the first notes, the listener knows what to expect for the next forty minutes, and Wasted Maniacs did surprise me with their lack of intention to push further from that path. The concept is heavily influenced by late ’80s and early ’90s punk rock, traditional rock, biker rock, heavy, and thrash metal, reminiscent of bands such as Motley Crue, Metallica, Exodus, and Motorhead. The album contains the most basic elements of each genre, performed with only three instruments, drums, guitar, and bass, accompanied by vocals.
The musical foundation has a familiar approach that follows radio-friendly structures in all songs, followed by the subject matter, production, and visual branding. The first thing you feel looking at the band and this album is that you know what’s waiting for you. In this case, everything makes perfect sense, and the band has done successful work in coming up with a solid concept that the listener instantly recognizes.
In terms of production, the album deserves appreciation for its international qualities, focusing on live performance energy rather than anything processed or digital. Everything has a tasty balance and spirit throughout the album. I consider myself one of those who genuinely believe that nothing can replace analog recording, so I found the work done by the book by a professional, although it’s another conventional decision along the way.
Wasted Maniacs, Band PhotoPhoto credit: Unknown
On the other side of the coin, I’d like to begin with the origins of this concept. This music was born in the late ’70s in the West, with two geographical landmarks: the UK and the USA. It was soon recognized by the entire planet, leaving its mark on history representing a culture rather than just music. Those who originated this music poured so much of their own lives and personalities into this specific style, and it was their authenticity and credibility in their stories that resonated with many others, transcending languages and cultures. Lemmy Kilmister, as a pioneering example, played the music he lived, told the story from Lemmy Kilmister’s eyes. He chose to live that way while having his reasons, and today we have bands like Wasted Maniacs thanks to his influence. While I have immense respect for the music in the record “Attack of the Pack,” it was also one of the most challenging listening experiences for me, and I have my reasons.
First and foremost, the work lacks authenticity. I couldn't shake off the feeling that I am listening to music that was written, recorded, tuned, performed, and produced in the same way, with the same understanding, countless times before. What truly uninspired me was that the band doesn't venture beyond the boundaries of what we've heard for the last 50 years. Moreover, I couldn't discern any distinguishing characteristics in its visuals, sound, compositions, atmosphere, or its musical foundation.
Additionally, I've found the album lacking aesthetics from top to bottom, and this opinion was largely influenced by its sound character. The instrumentals were performed and tracked in an unprocessed way, which is admirable, yet it doesn't result in a good guitar tone, drum tone, or vocal tone. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed by the lack of taste in the characterization, which played a significant role in my listening experience.
Lastly, the album didn’t resonate with me in terms of its subject matter. It’s 2023, and these stories were originally told by those who lived the lifestyle and created its music. I think the main problem in this case from my experience was that, these gentlemen didn’t imagine a concept with pieces of what makes them special, rather tried to fit themselves into a shape that doesn’t fit them very well.
Wasted Maniacs, Band PhotoPhoto credit: L.S. Rockography
In conclusion, Wasted Maniacs' "Attack of the Pack" takes on from a familiar and traditional concept and brings their own version to the table in the traditional world of '80s thrash metal and punk rock. Although the music has all the necessary electricity and energy in its origins, it falls short in delivering a fresh perspective, lacking the authenticity and aesthetics that could have set this band apart. Thank you for reading.
Wasted Maniacs - Attack of the Pack (2023) album front cover artworkArt credit: Unknown
Wasted Maniacs on the Web
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