|It’s like the 1980s all over again! Pick a song – any song will do – and there you go! Fast, slamming riffs that are heavy and crushing like thrash but frantic and kinda jumpy like punk, propelled by speedy, precise drumming. Raw, unhinged vocals that spit and bark out words in a mad frenzy. Loud, yell-along gang vocals. Oof! Listening to Municipal Waste’s latest album is like traveling back in time to when bands like Suicidal Tendencies, Nuclear Assault or SOD initiated the snotty riotous sound that we now know and love as crossover thrash. Only, Municipal Waste don’t have even a trace of the socio-political consciousness of the typical crossover band, unless they’re being very ironic and I’m being very dumb. Perhaps in this respect, an equally good comparison would be thrash acts like Exodus or Laaz Rockit, who had both a punky edge and a brash exuberance to some of their material.Municipal Waste are all about big, dumb fun, and cartoon-like aggression. The songs are all extremely short, and usually feature sing-along iterations of the song title for maximum headbanging fun. A quick scan through the names should give you some idea of what we have to contend with here – ‘Headbanger Face Rip’, ‘The Inebriator’, ‘Lunch Hall Food Brawl’ and ‘Beer Pressure’ are all remarkably literal explorations of simple concepts related to making a mess, imbibing a lot of intoxicants and having a completely irresponsible blast. Other songs, like, ‘Mental Shock’, ‘Sadistic Magician’, or ’Rigorous Vengeance’ are equally straightforward takes on standard thrash tropes such as insanity, menace and general warlike mayhem, except that there’s no serious message to be conveyed here by way of subtext. Which is fine by me, really. We all need something to raise our mugs to and bang along with mindlessly from time to time, and this album fits that bill closer than many of the far more impressive, serious metal releases I’ve heard lately.
The music is straightforward, no-nonsense stuff – muscular, concise, tight and musically developed enough not to be a collection of throwaways. Clearly, Municipal Waste take the right things seriously, like being an actual viable band amongst the hilarity. These riffs mean business, even if the agenda is to turn partying into an art. Although few of the songs cross 2 minutes, they get some serious thrashing done in the duration. Finally, there’s a ridiculous spoof boy-band song tucked away as a hidden track after the last song, ‘Born To Party,’ to add to the general atmosphere of self-satisfied metalhead excess. My cup runneth over.
There’s a place for everything, and this album’s place is in a smoky, poorly-ventilated over-crowded room, preferably in someone’s basement, where a group of young metalheads, or for that matter aging metalheads dressed as if they’re still young, have gathered to guzzle entirely too much beer, take one too many hits from the bong, get really wasted and obnoxious, make a lot of devil horns signs, headbang like mad and pass out in puddles of their own puke. It’s a simple but noble endeavour, and Municipal Waste can take some pride in having crafted the perfect soundtrack for a drunken metal thrashing party.
Year of Release: 2007