"Wastelands" is a song by American rock band Linkin Park from their sixth studio album, The Hunting Party. The song was written by the band and produced by co-lead vocalist Mike Shinoda and Brad Delson, and co-produced by Rob Cavallo. "Wastelands" was sent to Sirius XM Radio radio stations in airplay on June 1, 2014, and was then released as the third official single on June 2. Although, a 44 seconds long preview of the song was aired before, and a minute long preview was used in the promotion of UFC on the date of release of the song. Later on the song was used as the theme song for "UFC". The cover of the song was available three days before the release of the song at SoundCloud. The song can be streamed on Sirius XM. It is also a playable song on the music video game Guitar Hero Live.
According to Loudwire, "'Wastelands' starts with a hip-hop verse and the song has a lot of groove with heavy drum and bass. The chorus is catchy yet sludgy and has some grit to it. Watch out for the heavy breakdown in the middle of the song. Linkin Park takes you on a sonic roller-coaster ride as they play around with the tempo and ambiance of the song". The song continues its outro into the next track and the second single, "Until It's Gone", from The Hunting Party.
The song was played live twice, with the live premiere of the song in Tucson, AZ during KMFA Day, which was the same date when the preview of the song was aired. The song was played live along with "Guilty All the Same" in which Shinoda raps Rakim's verse on during the performance, and "Until It's Gone". On May 30, 2014 at Rock in Rio, before the song began, while the short version of "Runaway" was being performed at Rock in Rio, Mike Shinoda reached into his pocket during the performance and revealed CDs containing "Wastelands", which at time was not released on the internet and was only performed once during KFMA Day. He then tossed them out to fans who attempted to catch them before "Wastelands" was performed by the band, with one fan who got a CD from the drummer Rob Bourdon at a Meet and Greet, releasing the song on YouTube on the same day. This is also the day where the song was leaked online via digital download. It is also currently being performed during the band's 2017 One More Light Tour, although it is the only song off of The Hunting Party that is being played during the tour.
The music video for the song was uploaded to Linkin Park's official YouTube account on June 25, 2014. The video features clips of fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship over a live performance at Rock in Rio Lisboa recorded on May 30, 2014. Prior to the release of the music video, a lyric video was uploaded to the official YouTube account of the band on June 1, 2014.
In a track-by-track review by Billboard, the song praised Bennington singing about the "wasteland of today" as "one of those timeless and universal declarations of discontent that doesn't have to mean a damn thing."