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Municipal Waste. What's there to say about them? One of the leaders, if not THE leader, in the thrash revival of this generation. "The Art Of Partying" certainly shows this. I was a wee bit hesitant from the very beginning of this album after listening to "Hazardous Mutation" and "Waste 'Em All". Would they still have the edge to their music or would they fall into the boiling pot of other modern generic thrash bands? While the guys in Municipal Waste may have lost some of their more crossover-esque tendencies, they retained the punch that their previous albums showed. Catchy riffs and precision drum work kept me listening from beginning to end and they continue to every time I pop this bad boy into my stereo. Phil's outstanding and sometimes quite funky bass lines is one thing that I feel a lot of other modern thrash bands lack in an extreme fashion. That has always been a strong point of Municipal Wastes' music (the bass intro to "Sadistic Magician", just to name one example). While the songs themselves may run together at points if not examined individually, the energy they all share doesn't lessen no matter how many times I've listened them.
Lyrically speaking, on the downside, this album does coalesce with the themes of a huge amount of other modern thrash acts, with themes such as drinking, moshing, and partying, just to name a couple. Aside from the rather comical lyrics spread throughout the some of the songs, this monotony has to be only drawback I can see in "The Art of Partying". Saying that, songs like "Lunch Hall Food Brawl" and "Mental Shock" do have rather original lyrical content, for example.
With the generic "drink, thrash, mosh, repeat" mindset of a huge portion of modern thrash spreading through the streets in recent years, Municipal Waste is one of the few bands in this genre to make it work, and work well - with fast-paced, in-your-face vocals and guitar work and catchy, outspoken bass, "The Art of Partying" with have you headbanging within seconds of "Pre-Game's" opening riff.
A friend recommended this album to me and said the Waste is truly an amazing band, were fast and intense, and that it would knock my head off. At first I was reluctant to listen to it because I'm truly not one for change. Eventually I picked it up and popped it in my stereo after ignoring it for a long period of time and I felt stupid. I missed out on so much. Municipal Waste's "The Art of Partying" is truly a powerful and rapid piece with lots of intensity and full of rage! In short, I really liked it!
Let's go through the tracks, shall we?
The first bit is a forty second song called "Pre-Game", and now I know why. It's a small band piece (minus the vocals) where you get a small taste of the next song,"The Art of Partying", It felt like a real pre-game and it portrayed that feeling to the listener. Next is "The Art Of Partying" and this song (like the others) had a time limit of two minutes with some killer riffs and fast vocal technique and both made for a great combo. You get a taste of everything: the vocals, bass, the guitars, and the fast beats of the drums. It was like a TV dinner; lots to choose from and can be finished in 2 minutes.
Then came along "Headbanger Face Rip", another great song that felt just like "Partying" but with more power and intensity, so bottoms up! Again there were lots of fast instrumental tracks mixed with the powerful, rapid-fast vocals that were also delivered. After this came the songs "Mental Shock", "Attention Deficit Destroyer" (A.D.D.), and "the Inebriator". Do I even need to go on through the tracks? They all sound the same and have the same length and that's the only problem with this album. If it wasn't there, this album would be 100% already. I don't have issues with the execution or the song length, because I'm actually okay with the length because they're short and sweet rather than long and boring. It's just that everything sounds the same. The blast beats along with the vocals starts to get you annoyed just a little bit. On the other hand, every song is like a mini-story and it's a somewhat "new" adventure every time. Simply put, this album is "modern thrash", however it brings back the good old thrashing years of the '80s to the 21st century and Waste have done a good job executing this album, but perhaps not in terms of repetitiveness. Nonetheless, this is a great album to add to any metal fan's collection.
Municipal Waste is a band that gets about as much scorn as it does love, and if the reason does not become immediately obvious, a swift ass-kicking in the pit to their music will either jog your memory or bury you where your trampled carcass will end up. The originality seekers, the “let’s push the envelope of possibilities” crowd, and all the other weekend elitists and intellectuals who complain about nothing new happening yet find themselves praising less successful bands for rehashing shit that was done a few years after what this band is revisiting, all are far from this band’s mind. This is the sort of band that reminds of such cliché albums as “Zombie Attack” and “U.S.A. for M.O.D.” that make most modern metal enthusiasts cringe, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
But consternation for a subjective standard of modernity aside, these crossover revivalists have done very little to evolve in the 6 years that they’ve been active, apart from increasing the average song length on their subsequent studio releases. “The Art Of Partying” definitely showcases the usual blend of fast paced riffing with few slowdown sections, punk infused vocals oozing with attitude in spite of a limited vocal range, gang choruses that seem even more prevalent than before, and lyrics that all but indiscriminately hit all the excesses associated with the genre. But in some respects in comes across as slightly more mature because of the longer song lengths and with it the increased level of repetition and variation amongst the crunchy, flashy riff work that has otherwise been drawn from the same well as all previous works.
The aesthetic of this album as a bunch of crazed kids turned zombies partying so hard that they begin to cannibalize each other is a bit over-the-top, but then again, so is the hybrid sub-genre that was pioneered in the mid 80s and paved the way for this. In usual fashion, sometimes it sounds like pure Anthrax/Nuclear Assault worship via simpler tunes in “Born To Party” and “Beer Pressure”, the latter have a somewhat awkward voiceover, but otherwise a decent tune. But for the most part, this thing just blazes away at Slayer-like tempos (think before “South Of Heaven”) and doesn’t relent, though it seems the lead guitar work is becoming a bit scarcer in favor of more riffs and gang choruses. But on the whole, the songs tend to have a little more staying power as they don’t seem to leave almost as quickly as they come, save the obligatory sub-minute intro “Pre-Game”, a shorter version of the speeding mayhem that occupies 90% of this album.
While this can be seen as a slight step down from the vicious second album in “Hazardous Mutation”, this still delivers the spine ruining goods the way all previous works have. This isn’t the sort of band or style that even pretends to lend itself to progression, apart from maybe some nuances in the various lyrical endeavors afforded to it (none of them intellectually titillating), so all the “this sounds the same” douches are encouraged, in all politeness of course, to fuck off and die. But for those who foolishly thought that hardcore skinheads and jeans toting thrashers with their flowing hair could live together in a violent yet synchronistic coexistence, it’s just one good time waiting to be had. Drink up, be merry, and party till you puke.
If I'm being completely honest I don't know why I am reviewing this album, as I have purposely avoided reviewing it for quite some time. The reason being is because I felt I was quite over my head: I like some cross-over thrash from the 80's, but the inception seemed like a brief fun idea more than a force to be reckoned with. But I decided to put all hesitations aside, and write a review which truth be told has been a long time coming. Now the first thing about "The art of partying" that I wish to point out, is that there are some fun giggle inducing moments, but the music is never delivered with enough conviction. For example "The world is hours away" by a cross-over band called Eviction still gets a spin or two from me, over twenty years on but I don't see this album fairing so well if I am being honest. There is some of that cringe worthy material of the likes of New York thrash bands from the 80's, who wanted a quick laugh rather than push the envelope of the genre. And on some songs this album is as guilty of being retro-thrash at it's very worst! And the worst thing about this entire scenario is the forced nature of the music and the band's image. Like many retro-thrash bands they are desperately trying to live like they're in the 1980's, but it's high time someone told them the 20th century ended over a decade ago! Sometimes a retro wardrobe malfunction is enough to turn me off a band before listening to the music, because I know the originality department will probably be severely lacking.
With tracks rarely breaching the two minute mark, they have crammed in fifteen tracks, some faceless monotonous affairs, others much more infectious. "Pre game" is an alright opener, but some reviewers on here talked about it like it was in the same league as "Battery" or something. Just a few rushed riffs in my opinion, not epic nor is it life affirming. Some tracks stand out way more than others such as "The inebriator" or "Beer pressure" and seeing as they are songs about alcohol, something the band are clearly passionate about, it does not surprise me these have some of the most focused riffs and choruses for a thrash album on this damn thing...but is that a good thing or a sad thing? I could prove that point further with "Born to party" being the longest track on here. I'm not some dull toothless party-pooper, but why are all the beer swilling tracks being treated with absolute priority? Maybe I'm slightly missing the appeal but some good tunes like "Sadistic magician" or "Headbanger face rip" start off good but then dip as if the band went off for a beer. Why was the emphasis not put on some of the other tracks? But the album is called "The art of partying" so nothing I can say on the matter will hold any water (or beer). But despite the upbeat, fun, party 'til you drop sentiments this album provide, some of the songs are really wasted potential. I mean Atrophy didn't save all their greatest riffs for "Beer bong" did they? Any way I had better move on, because I doubt this argument is valid because like I said this album is called: "THE ART OF PARTYING!" My least favourite track "Lunch hall food brawl" it is a short track, treading all the notions and leaving me rather bored. Man that track is so predictable. Tony Foresta has some less than appealing vocals, and yes like what others have said he sounds like he is having an asthma attack. But they aren't all bad, it's just his forced and rather breathless vocals are hardly inspiring, and can you honestly say his vocals got your blood rushing?
All in all this album just made it more clear, that cross-over is a genre I'm never going to fully embrace. I'm the kind of guy who listens to D.R.I to pass the time, I wouldn't call them pioneers. And for a album so obsessed by the partying side of life, it comes across rather akward and devoid of actual fun. Who ever is reading this might actually enjoy some of the drinking numbers, but for me after being exposed to Tankard other bands who attempt it just become a third wheel at any party. But it would be a crime to score this below sixty per cent, as 2007 cropped up some real shit in the metal scene and some albums from that year don't actually hold a candle to this. Yes this is in my collection, even if I am slightly ashamed to admit it around thrash veterans. Is it worth adding to your collection? I don't usually advise this, but download it before you make your call.
The "rethrash" movement has swept across the nation by now, and, seeing as I live in California's Bay Area, the birthplace of the greats of thrash, I've heard plenty of it. Unfortunately, I've yet to hear one band come out of the rethrash movement that reminds me at ALL of Metallica, Testament, Megadeth, et al. Municipal Waste is no exception. Their specific branch of thrash is a complete waste of my time and my ear space.
While vocals in thrash ARE supposed to be mostly yells, the ones on "The Art of Partying" are nearly sickening. They sound like the vocalist has about 10% of his original lung capacity - which he probably does, from all the partying. I understand the attraction towards a rougher sound, but this guy just sounds like he's gasping for breath. I guess that’s why the band throws in a ton of gang shouts to detract from the appallingly poor quality of the lead vocalist. I would understand a little if he was playing an instrument at the same time, but, uh… he’s not.
The drums are indeed thrashy, but there’s little to no variety. Every single song, it’s that same fast thrashy snare beat (oh, and the snare sounds annoyingly flat). I can see how it might have worked for Slayer in the ‘80’s, but this is different – Municipal Waste doesn’t even approach the skill level of Slayer (and I’m not really a big Slayer fan in the first place). More variety is required to make any band, particularly this one, interesting.
Seeing as I’m a guitarist, the riffs really, really hurt. Sure, the guitarists can play a little, but their licks are sloppy and the solos aren’t very good. Many of the riffs are simply fast runs on the low E string, with a couple other notes and Phyrgian patterns thrown in haphazardly to make this sound “thrashy”. It doesn’t work very well, as inevitably occurs when one is noticeably TRYING to achieve one sound, which Municipal Waste is clearly attempting to do.
Well, this is boring.
The music, vocals, and riffs are so repetitive, I don’t understand how anyone can be entertained by this for more than a few minutes at best. And the musicianship of the band is horribly lacking, as the riffs are extraordinarily simplistic and uncreative. Don’t waste your time on trashy thrash like this, and return to the old classics. Rethrash gets a large thumbs down from me.
Oh, and their live performance is bad as well – lots of mistakes, and the vocalist sounds even sloppier than he does on record.
In the song "Born to Party", the band claims that "Municipal Waste is gonna fuck you up!" They did no such thing.
The 39 second intro track is a good hook, it's catchy, though not memorable, and the drumming is aggressive. The next four songs clock in around two minutes each, and they are pretty much indistinguishable from each other. By the time the sixth track started, I was getting sick of the album, there wasn't much variation in the songs, the riffs didn't stand out at all, and the vocals were monotonous. "The Inebriator" began with another 39 second hook, followed by a 9 second bridge and another eight and a half songs that all sound the same. The final track, "Born to Party", features the catchy chant of "Municipal Waste is gonna fuck you up!", which is also the only memorable line on the album. Special editions include three bonus tracks which, by now unsurprisingly, are indistinguishable from the rest of the album.
The high point of the music is the drumming - in itself it is a well-executed simple performance, serving as a solid backline for the band's style. The rest of the band are thoroughly unimpressive. The guitar riffing is quite simple, in tune with the band's style, but the riffs don't stand out, nor are they memorable. All of the guitar parts come and go very quickly, and they are largely indistinguishable for each other. The bass lines largely follow the guitar and are hardly noticeable on their own, only once on the album did I notice the bass actually doing something.
The vocals are the weakest point of the record. The gang shouts are alright, but the lead vocals are terrible. This is the first record that made me think of a metal vocalist simply as "some dude shouting into a microphone", they don't sound like a vocalist yelling because he feels that is the best way to express himself, it sounds like yelling for the sake of yelling because someone else did it 25 years ago. The lyrics are even worse, they solidify the fact that the band is a gimmick that revolves around their act, not the music. The lyrics have no literary merit beyond a bit of rhyming, and the vocals reflect that.
The album's closer is the only song that stands out as a musical incarnation of their attitude, it is 1:16 of catchy, in-your-face, aggressive thrash (plus non-musical filler at the end). The album is only 32 minutes long, yet it still manages to be half an hour too long - the majority of the album, as a full band's performance, is musically worthless. 'The Art of Partying' comes together as an abortion of gonzo gimmick throwback thrash - it isn't one of those things that is so bad that it wraps back around to being awesome, nor does it have the glory of a planned train wreck.
This is actually the first CD I got from Municipal Waste. Having heard the buzz about this release, as well as the song “The Art of Partying” being on the “Thrashing Like a Maniac” compilation, I checked out this album. This record hosts several new things about the ‘Waste that weren’t on previous records – most of the songs are a little longer, breaking the 2 minute mark. The actual record in its entirety is also about 6 or 7 minutes longer than Hazardous Mutation Also including the longest ‘Waste song ever recorded, “Born to Party”, clocking in at 4:20.
Municipal Waste has definitely found their style on this release, and continues the same pattern of furious thrash they had on Hazardous Mutation. I also sensed that thier influences had shuffled around a little bit - I definitley hear more Iron Maiden ish solos (Example - Beer Pressure solo = Different World) However many of the songs on this release reminded me of songs on Hazardous Mutation. The whole band has gotten slightly better in skill, as the guitars are tighter than before and the drumming has improved. This album though like Hazardous Mutation starts off very strong and then starts to lose steam a little in the middle, and then picks up again near the end. If you got the limited edition of this CD, which gives you the 2 bonus tracks “Thrashing’s My Business and Business is Good” (Funny thing about this track is the first time I saw the tile I was thinking of Megadeth, but this song sounds nothing like Megadeth…hmmm) and “I Just Wanna Rock”. These tracks are OK but are not the best songs on the album, so if you don’t get the limited edition you are still getting the main cuts of the album. The first 4 songs (Pre-Game-Mental Shock) are probably the best songs on the album. Municipal Waste really shows their skills here, in both riffs and lyrics.
Also the thing about Municipal Waste is how they fit so many lyrics into such short songs. I don't know how Tony Foresta does it. Anyway, the lyrics on this album are similar to the lyrics on Hazardous Mutation, but there are a few differences. In interviews, Tony Foresta has said this album was a concept album about partying, so most of the songs focus on thrashing and partying, although some songs talk about totally random things like school food fights, being imprisoned for doing something someone else did, and mental disorders. Also, check out the band doing some speaking parts in "Beer Pressure". (I cant even see man!)
If you want to get into Municipal Waste, this is a good album but get Hazardous Mutation first, and then if you like that get this.
Looking at the title, you should understand what this album is about. Drinking, destroying property, and going crazy, does this album really stand up to the rising crossover competition?
Well, in simple terms, it does. Before you actually listen to this album, you know what to expect. Fast paced tracks that are only a few minutes long and hard to tell a part. This can be a burden to some, but it’s easy to forget. The album starts of with a quick intro track “Pre-game” nothing special at all; it’s actually the only bad track on here. The rest is either good or average. Nothing here will surprise you. That’s not necessarily a problem. Many bands nowadays call themselves thrash (Trivium, Shadows Fall, crap like that) when their actually not. This is true crossover thrash at it’s finest.
Unfortunately, there are some slip-ups here. This album is very short, only thirty-two minutes. So the experience won’t last long. This isn’t too much of a surprise coming from a band of this genre, but I wish it were a little longer. At some points, it’s also hard to notice a large difference between the tracks themselves. Once again this is part of the genre, but this could be changed and I wish it would be eventually.
Overall this is a solid record. A few stand out tracks are “The Art of Partying,” “Headbanger Face Rip,” “Chemically Altered,” and “Sadistic Magician.” The tracks I didn’t mention aren’t bad, more like average. Pick this one up if you want some good quality thrash, you won’t be surprised, but you will enjoy it.
The 2000's. ‘Tis the new millennium of thrash. Many bands have been toiling in the underground, while the true innovators are still thrashing their hearts out. Didn't like the latest Slayer album? Go to hell, that album was so fucking Slayer it hurt. It may not have been pure 80's, but fuck, this music isn't about straight imitation, its about grabbing those influences from your metal heroes and throwing your personality horns-first into the tunes.
Torture Squad, Merciless Death, Ghoul, the list of underground bands dedicated to THRASH is becoming awesomely uncountable. And with lyrics about weed, speed, moshing and beer, how can the Waste not be banging their heads in the front row with stalwarts like Heathen, Agent Steel and Overkill?
This band takes the Reign In Blood theory and makes it their band. Each album is short, fast, and brutal, leaving my balls hurting yet begging for more, and the songs are tailor-made for the live setting. Album too short? Then flip over the tape and play it again! I'm all for expanding musical horizons, but album length is something I couldn't hack from these guys. Time Does Not Heal, thrash riffing 101, is fucking amazing, but its not the Waste.
Because this, THIS, is crossover. None of this 'metalcore' trite, this music takes the aggression and technicality of thrash, the pure DIY fun and speed of hardcore punk, and attatches the two to opposing Mack trucks heading towards each other at top speed. The attitude is again purely crossover; no solos, no ego, no one being a little nazi drumming troll who can't play for shit anyway. And that’s what the pit is: metalheads, skinheads and punks alike just THRASHING OUT! I witnessed someone crowd-surfing on a pink boogie board, while trying to headbang, when I saw these guys. That, plus the fact they took the time out to actually TOUR here for a gig that gave me change from 30 bucks, says it all.
Beer Pressure: Crossover played HEAVY, with lyrics and spoken parts by the band about being “Waaasteeeeeddd” over the top.
This is why bands like Unearth, while not my thing, I've gotta respect for at least having the right attitude to music. Then you have a band like i killed the prom queen, which just makes me plain sad to know I live in the shithole known as Adelaide, Australia, and its that sort of garbage that will attract attention. But hey, that’s what this music is about! The middle finger! And the Waste know we exist down here.
Bands like this make me the drummer and musician I am, true equality in a band is important. I just can't see a band like this splitting up for idiotic, greed-driven, pointless reasons. This band just gets heavier and faster with each release. The riff count is climbing. Municipal Waste is gonna FUCK YOU UP!
/me cracks open a can of brew.
Yeah, I just described this album and band in its entirety without describing it at all. I rehashed everyone else’s words. But anyone with a metal brain will know from -all- these reviews what this album will sound like. Think its predictable? Go listen to Opeth, or And Justice, or something equally 'epic' in its grand scale, and I'll listen too, laughing forever after.
We're born to fuckin' party! Originally written for the jordman.
"I'm a sucker for thrash metal and throwback '80s crossover thrash, and Municipal Waste has always done the latter very well. Their style of music is just an onslaught of thrash and punk, ripping off your face and taking your keg as payment for their services. It's just an eternal party for these guys and they play about it, and my god is it awesome. If only the '80s were still going then I could become one of those monster party animals that are always remembered in high school (in reality I'd probably be that 20-something guy who keeps going to high school kids parties... which would suck).
“The Art of Partying” is just that, focusing on partying and making it into musical art; the muse of Municipal Waste. This is the kind of music where you would gladly put on your denim vest and pump your fist in the air like a retard while bashing a beer can against your face and I support it with every fiber of my being. You shouldn't take this music seriously, because it will completely ruin the novelty of it and realize that you're just supposed to thrash around and have a great time, and I really dig that.
The music as a whole is very reminiscent of old '80s thrash like Exodus, Destruction, Sodom, Tankard, and Heathen to name a few. You really can't go wrong if you're able to pull off that sound correctly and adding in an excellent punk-edge, which impresses me because I hate punk (except Phobia). “The Art of Partying”is just one gigantic beer-bong with lots of metal and punk homages throughout the ride. You've got songs like “Headbanger Face Rip”, “A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Destroyer)”, “Lunch Hall Food Brawl” and “Beer Pressure” that makes you want to get completely wasted, go skateboarding and commit lots of vandalism to your respective learning institutions, like spraypainting “Cocksucker!!!” right on the middle of the football field.
I'm perfectly aware that the '80s are long-gone, but that doesn't mean that we can't still remember the glory days of thrash metal, and Municipal Waste has set out to do just that; remind us why thrash metal is awesome. The riffs are intense and powerful thanks to Ryan Waste (ex-Immortal Avenger), Land Phil's (ex-Nehema, Cannibis Corpse) bass is very closely related to that of Steve DiGiorgio (ex-Autopsy, ex-Control Denied, ex-Death), Tony Foresta's voice definitely reminds me of a very pissed off punk vocalist, and Dave Witte's (ex-Discordance Axis, ex-Burnt by the Sun, Birds of Prey) veteran drumming really shows off his grindcore/punk roots that fits very well with what the band has given him.
Now let's focus on the kick-ass throwback lyrics of “Headbanger Face Rip”!:
“He's going to he concert
He's full of thrashing rage
He's going to rip his face off and throw it at the stage!
Headbanger Face Rip
She's putting on her makeup
She's teasing out her hair
She's going to rip her face off and throw it down the stairs
It doesn't really matter who you came to see to play
All we want to see you do is rip your face away
Thumbs into your eyeballs, stick your fingers in
Rake your hand across your face and pull apart your skin
Blood and hair swirl everywhere
Your face is gone but you don't care
Receiving thrills with every tear
Destroy it as fast you can
Now is your time to take a stand
Just rip your face off the band
Headbanger Face Rip”
Look at that, this song is one minute and fifty-one seconds long, and Tony some-how manages to spit all of those out, which really reminds me of now defunct grindcore band Damaged. Those lyrics are just awesome and really showcase what this song is; a good fucking time at a metal show and make sure you give it your all in the pits. This is their “Toxic Waltz”.
“The Art of Partying” should be required listening for any heavy partier, and should also be “The Party Animals' Manifesto”, really, it's that damn good. This is going under my best thrash/crossover album of 2007 and maybe for the next two or three years. Nearly flawless effort by Municipal Waste, and I suggest you all catch them on tour with another throwback '80s thrash band by the name of Toxic Holocaust. Party on Municipal Waste, party on."
Originally written for Metal Stomp.
Lets face it, Municipal Waste contain the sound of old school thrash, yet they posess something else that makes the music an enjoyable listen everytime you pop the album on. The Art of Partying is Municipal Waste's third album, as with Hazardous Mutation contains non-stop ass kicking crossover thrash. The band themselves have seemed to mature there sound on this record with the vocals sounding more refined, the guitar tone a bit thicker, and the bass on standard levels it wasnt on for Hazardous Mutation.
The album begins with a little 39 second clip called "Pre-Game" and it is as the title suggests a preview of whats to come (minus the vocals), then heads straight into the title track. From the title track on the album gives you non-stop ass pounding crossover thrash that D.R.I., & S.O.D. would be proud of. "Headbanger Facerip" is the single of sorts off the album, a fun energetic track that is to hard NOT to sing along to the chorus. The only problem with this, is like Municipal Waste's other albums is that some of the songs send alike after awhile because of the short length the songs are. The longest song on the album is the last track "Born To Party" at 4:20 long but the music itself last until about 1:15 into the song, followed by about 2:15 of silence then a small audio clip of the band I assume.
The only glaring problems with this is album along with the other two are 1) repitition, and 2) length, this is there longest album at 32 minutes, but if Municipal Waste want to keep there name high they should make there songs longer, but this is only the afterthough for he album its just a good fun.
The direction that modern metal is going, it's hard to believe that any band would get popular by playing classic 80s crossover thrash metal. It's really hard to believe. Municipal Waste seems to be just doing that - and with the release of The Art of Partying they are just further perfecting that classic sound. Old school thrashers - prepare for Municipal Waste to fuck you up!
The band has really benefited from the updated production and instead of a slurry of guitars (they weren't bad before just not quite as clear) they now have heavy and clean guitar sounds. The double guitar work with building any kind of atmosphere or even really being all that catchy (it must have happened naturally) but the guitars are focused on being fast, chaotic, and thrashy as hell. That's exactly what they do. The dueling riffs with fast furious solos and leads will make any old school thrashead smile and at moments it made me think of classic Nuclear Assault. The guitar work is relentless and anything slower than "headbangable" cannot be found. And it works amazingly.
The bass and drums are also classic crossover fodder - that means that the drums don't have time to be overly complicated or technical - the music is too fast. And the bass is there - but it mostly follows the guitar lines (if it's not pretty much mixed out of the entire album all together). The bass does
have a few awesome moments ("A.D.D." for example) and the drums don't take anything away from the music - in fact they fit almost perfectly. No heavy double bass work or odd sounding snare - just the right fit.
The vocal work a mix of thrash singing and hardcore screaming (think Exodus but
a little less harsh). Great old style of singing that fits well. Nothing too far from the base and little variety in the vocals. There are some great chanting moments that I would assume are going to be great for live shows. There are some very funny spoken parts on the album too that gave me a good laugh. Listen for those.
Lyrically, the band isn't concerned with social or political issues but are more concerned with drinking, destroying, partying, and playing fast metal. With an album, so aptly named The Art of Partying, one couldn't really expect more. So if that's your forte then this is right up your ally.
Overall, this album did exactly what it was intended to do. Municipal Waste will not write anything but only the most classic of crossover songs - so if you aren't a fan then don't attend to this album. I wish there was a tad more variety in the mix but that's just my opinion.
Songs to check out: Headbanger Face Rip, Beer Pressure, Born to Party.
If you’re a fan of Hardcore and/or Thrash Metal, you would no doubt have heard of the USA’s latest Thrash sensation, Municipal Waste. Since their 2003 debut Waste ‘Em All, the Waste have been consistently churning out “Crossover” in the vein of Nuclear Assault and Wehrmacht for legions of old-school Thrash fans, who are always on the lookout for albums which hark back to the glory days of the mid ‘80s. 2005 even saw them sign to one of the Metal scene’s biggest labels, Earache Records, and release their sophomore album Hazardous Mutation, which is quite an achievement considering most of their peers are usually left toiling in their underground scenes. Hazardous Mutation saw them leave behind the raw, 50 second bursts and present us a polished album containing 2:38 epics such as “Bang Over”.
And now, after two years of what has seemed like non-stop touring, the band spent late last year and the early months of ’07 writing and recording their third album, the appropriately named The Art of Partying. It sees Municipal Waste picking up exactly where they left off with Hazardous Mutation, where sharp and fast Thrash songs lasting no more than two-and-a-half minutes are the order of the day.
See, while Hazardous Mutation was not without it’s flaws (some of which it shares with The Art of Partying), the real strength of the album was it’s ability to mesh together fast, sometimes melodic riffs, with vocal hooks and frantic drumming all while keeping things somewhat fresh throughout the duration. The Art of Partying, however, sets the pace with the title track, then pretty much keeps it there for the remaining 28 minutes. Hazardous Mutation suffered from this too, but it’s so much more obvious on The Art of Partying that it’s difficult to turn a blind eye and claim “but it’s Thrash, it’s not supposed to be varied” like so many have before. There’s no “Abusement Park” to keep the hooks coming in the middle, and there’s no “Mind Eraser” to mix up the formula a little toward the end. The Art of Partying begins and ends on a great note, but the majority of the material is really unremarkable. Sure there’s the few hook scattered in there, and a couple of great half time sections, but I struggle to recall what part belongs to which song, and I’ve listened to the thing many times now.
Instrumentally the album holds up well, with Dave Witte’s manic drumming in particular being a highlight. The guitar work is solid, textbook Thrash playing, with simple powerchord riffs and rampant e string abuse abound, and the vocals courtesy of Tony Foresta are his usual fun, frantic shout. While the band aren’t virtuosos by any means, they are pretty tight, and it’s quite obvious that given the simple nature of their music, they would be more than able to present an extremely fun live show while not sounding like shit.
Despite The Art of Partying’s flaws, when it’s good, it’s some of the best fun you can have with a Metal album. The title track and “Headbanger Face Rip” are able to fill you with youthful energy after a mere 30 seconds, and would surely be great to experience live. The re-recorded, and extended version of Born To Party is fantastic too, with the infectious “Municipal Waste is gonna FUCK YOU UP!” section demanding many rewinds. “Born To Party” originally appeared on Municipal Waste’s split with Crucial Unit way back in 2002, and is definitely the highlight of the album. Coincidence? I think not.
In the end, Municipal Waste has predictably provided us with another enjoyable, solid Thrash release. If you’re looking for somewhere to begin with the band, get Hazardous Mutation, but if you’re a big fan of Municipal Waste or Thrash in general you’ll probably find it caters to your needs quite nicely.