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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.