Municipal Waste - Waste 'Em All (Six Weeks) 2003
Municipal Waste - Hazardous Mutation (Earache Records) 2005
Hi-speed, hi-energy, spastic, crossover thrash metal. Municipal Waste are a thrash metal machine. However, while many modern bands are going in the direction of "Kill 'Em All" and "Bonded by Blood", Hazardous Mutation steer clear of the Bay Area sound and instead tread similar music ground to bands like S.O.D. and Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, with a slight nod to bands like Evildead, Anthrax and Nuclear Assault. If this were the direction that hardcore and metal had gone, instead of the crap that is metalcore, I would have counted myself a fan. One of the big differences in "Hazardous Mutation" to some of those early crossover records is the production. Municipal Waste have managed to keep a raw, heavy sound, while at the same time have a more modern production that allows all instruments to be heard, including the bass guitar. (What a concept huh?) Shoot, if it hadn't been for this, I would have swore that this album were recording in the heat or thrash/crossover mania in 1988.
The band's lyrics continue on the proud crossover tradition of bands like D.R.I., Cryptic Slaughter, Ludichrist, S.O.D., etc. with clever phrasing, odd humor and politically incorrect commentaries. Part of what makes this band fun is that they don't seem to take themselves too seriously, while at the same time offering opinions that might very well sound preachy in any other format. Unfortunately some people may be offended by the lyrics to "The Thrashin' of the Christ". The band rightfully points out some hypocrisy within the church walls, but instead of just pointing out the problem go on to attack God, the Bible and anyone who is associated with the church. Guilt by association I suppose. This is hypocrisy itself, as most fans of punk, metal, and such have fought for years to shake the stereotyping associated with those who give the scene a bad name.
Another important thing to note about "Hazardous Mutation" is the cover art, which also echoes back to thrash days gone by. The cover was painted by infamous artist Ed Repka, who is most know for his work on "Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?", among others. There are actually two different versions of this cover. The alternative to the one posted here has the same art as shown below but with a red logo and no album title appearing on the cover.
Municipal Waste - The Art of Partying (Earache Records) 2007
I had read about Virginia's Minicipal Waste some time ago but hadn't heard their music. Metal fans on the internet were already touting "The Art of Partying" as one of the best new thrash releases of 2007. As such, I had to check it out. My first taste of them was on a thrash compilation where the song "Headbanger Face Rip" grabbed me by he jugular and had me instantly hooked. I immediately sought out this CD. Municipal Waste are cut from the same mold as bands like S.O.D. and The Crucified, crossing the mosh ethic of Anthrax and the punk/hardcore influence of D.R.I. In other words, blistering crossover thrash metal. If it isn't painfully obvious from the album cover, this band doesn't take themselves too seriously and has a sense of humor. With song titles like "Headbanger Face Rip", "The Inebriator," "Beer Pressure" and "Lunch Hall Food Brawl" you aren't really left guessing what this band is all about. Despite this, however, the music isn't sloppy or mediocre. Rather, Municipal was has the ability to mesh together fast, heavy thrash riffs, with frantic drumming and vocal hooks that last throughout the entire CD. The guitar playing is tight, switching back and forth from razor sharp, E-string abuse to simple power chords. Vocalist Tony Foresta shouts with a punk-like attitude that works well with the music. I find his style refreshing in that he is aggressive without sounding like the hordes of angry metalcore shouters currently infesting the scene. As a matter of fact, it's one of the things I found so refreshing about Municipal Waste. Their music may not be ultra original, but it's refreshingly fun in a music scene overcrowded with anger, doom and gloom.