Released: 2005, Earache
Virginia is was not only the home of Edgar Allen Poe during his formative years but it’s currently the home of Municipal Waste, the crossover band recently signed to Earache. Now I’m sure some people are wondering what Edgar Allen Poe and Municipal Waste have in common, they are both great wordsmiths. Compare The Raven to a song like “The Thrashin’ of the Christ”, The Tell Tale Heart and “Unleash the Bastards”, The Cask of Amontillado and “Abusement Park” etcetera.
It’s taken Municipal Waste a few years to get noticed by a bigger label as they have released a series of ep’s and split releases through smaller independent labels, the band certainly hasn’t been lazy having 4 releases, including the first, 2001’s s/t ep. Municipal Waste play 80’s crossover, the old school kind, the mix of thrash metal with the old school hardcore attitude. Fans of D.R.I., DBC, COC (what’s with all the acronyms?) will be right at home with Municipal Waste’s aggressive, yet fun crossover laced with circle pit mania and a tongue in cheek sense of humor (they did a split release in 2002 that had songs about Kurt Russell films). Along with this being the band’s big label debut this is drummer Dave Witte’s (ex-Discordance Axis, Human Remains, Burnt by the Sun, Agoraphobic Nosebleed) first outing with Municipal Waste.
The album starts off on a high note with “Intro/Death Ripper”. Within that first 10 seconds you know you’re in for a treat with simple thrash riffing, reminiscent of maybe an old Anthrax. Moving into the “Death Ripper” section of the track the pace instantly goes up into that wonderful 1-2 thrash beat and fast paced riffing which just begs for a circle pit (and I hate moshpits, go figure). Tony’s shouted vocals fit the atmosphere of the song perfectly creating that old school vibe. “Unleash the Bastards” starts off fast with Tony spewing his lyrics in time with music and the mid-paced section that starts off at 1:00 is so simple yet so enthralling, it works as the perfect bridge in the song. I’m not 100% sure what the lyrics to “The Thing” are about, but from what I’m able to gleam, it’s about the 1982 movie of the same name and if it is, that gets major points with me. Not to mention it’s a balls out thrasher with those familiar gang vocals that are just about a pre-requisite for the style.
As an intro to “Guilty of being Tight” there’s a great sample of the original Phantasm movie. As far as “Guilty of Being Tight” it’s completely taken from the D.R.I. song book with it’s hardcore riffing and the almost Kurt Brecht vocal delivery. Not to mention the fact that there’s some very cool and very prominent bass work throughout the song. “The Thrashin’ of the Christ” is easily the best song title on the album and probably my favourite song from its opening drum roll and cymbal crashes to the heavy mid-paced verses. It takes less than a minute for “Abusement Park” to steamroll over you with heavy Anthrax inspired riffing, especially with the drums and guitar syncing up for a few seconds near the end of the song.
Municipal Waste not only get by because of their attitude and energy but because they are actually able to write good music, like most of the better crossover bands. I can only hope that some of you out there recognize Municipal Waste for what they are, kick ass heavy metal with a good work ethic.