The beating heart of The Death Wheelers is a rumbling engine. Since their self-titled debut in 2015 and in 2020’s cinematic-storytelling breakout, Divine Filth, the Canadian outfit have tapped into wind-through-hair freedom and careened down open roads of groove, not a cop in sight. Their third record, Chaos and the Art of Motorcycle Madness, more than lives up to its name on all fronts. With songs like “Morbid Bails” and “Lucifer’s Bend,” the in-the-know references abound, and The Death Wheelers draw from classic underground metal, scummer heavy rock and cast themselves into a cauldron of cultish biker devil worship, reveling in any and all post-apocalyptic dystopias with genuine glee at having just seen the world eat itself. You might hear some surf guitar. Crazy things can happen.
A sample in “Triple D (Dead, Drunk and Depraved)” underscores the message: “We want to be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the man. And we want to get loaded.” That line, from Roger Corman’s 1966 film The Wild Angels, serves as a mission statement, and as “Lucifer’s Bend” starts by laughing about how you can’t get away from Satan, they might as well carve it into their forearms to be ready when the blast of distortion hits, as much Entombed as Motörhead, galloping and sinister, coated in road dust and blood.
The band tells the story like this: “Cursed to ride forever on this mortal plane after partaking in a satanic drug ritual, the Death Wheelers pledge allegiance to the god of hell and fire. However, in order to prove themselves to their newly anointed leader and for the spell to take effect, the club will need to engage in a series of lewd acts of sex and violence across the country. Immortality comes at a price and you’re about to pay for it…”
While forging songs adherent more to ideology than style, The Death Wheelers cast their biker cult in their own image, and on Chaos and the Art of Motorcycle Madness, they challenge death head-on as only those with no fear of it could hope to do.
1. The Scum Always Rises To The Top
2. Morbid Bails
3. Les Mufflers Du Mal
4. Ride Into The Rot (Everything Lewder Than Everything Else)
5. Triple D (Dead, Drunk, Depraved)
6. Lucifer?s Bend
7. Brain Bucket
8. Open Road X Open Casket
11. Sissy Bar Strut (Nymphony 69)
12. Cycling For Satan Part II