Bart M. : Even though there are several bands that call themselves Wendigo, this is the first one I actually hear about. This band from Germany released their first album in 2016, an EP called Initiation. Two and a half years later they have finished their first longplayer and it is called Wasteland Stories. A kind of concept album in that it explores the themes of loneliness, the desert and being alone, in nine self-contained songs.
I like this idea a lot and on a record promoted as stoner rock it has some really great potential. The opening sounds of The Man With No Home are very doomy and change into something more psychedelic quite quickly. After this we have two songs that sound deliciously rock and roll, but do not have a lot of unique personality. With Dagon we are once again heading in the right direction with a welcome and catchy rhythm and guitars that sound very good and do indeed conjure images in line with the aforementioned themes. Wendigo knows to sustain this (fine) level for some time and even throws in a portion of black metal vocals, making the concept of The Lonesome Golddigger Pt. II, that of a vengeful ghost, really fall into place. The magnum opus of Wasteland Stories must be closing song Mother Road, a longer track that is as warm as it is compelling and it succeeds in instilling the listener with a feeling of melancholy. This all does come across as a little strange because it concerns a roadtrip through the US (a great tribute to stoner rock) sung by someone from Germany. Of course, this is all very possible, but you have to employ some suspension of disbelief when eventually he "comes home" to California. Maybe I think too deeply here.
There is a lot of creativity here, both musically and lyrically. It all just still sounds somewhat of a hotchpotch, throwing together a lot of different styles without making it into a recognizable, own sound. Also, there is the occasional hint of that typical German sound: tight guitars, somewhat cheerful and a chorus sung by the entire band. Fortunately that is not the main ingredient on this album and if Wendigo keeps developing to a less generic sound, their true potential will unfold like a beautiful mushroom over Camp Desert Rock!