Released: Nove, Earache Records
Reviewer: Erin Fox
It goes without saying that a band has needed to come along and give the classic thrash sound a good old fashioned ass whoopin’ for far too long. With the release of last year’s HAZARDOUS MUTATION by Earache Records, Municipal Waste did exactly that, exerting a raw, crossover sound that melds early Anthrax with Dirty Rotten Imbeciles or any of the other alphabet soup xover bands that appeared in the mid-eighties.
Municipal Waste’s singer, Tony Foresta has a highly distinctive voice. Its general timbre is not far removed from that of D.R.I. singer Kurt Brecht and he can lay out a rapid-fire crossover punk rap as well as an ear-piercing metal scream. Coupled with the up-tempo feel of the group’s instrumentation, the end result finds the band making these retro sounds inviting once again. Much like juvenile delinquency, tracks like the blazing fast “Unleash The Bastards” and moshtastic rager “The Thrashing Of The Christ” are simply far too inviting to pass up. Land Phil (nice) provides the bass thunder that powers the music of Municipal Waste. Check out the skin-flaying “Abusement Park” for a nice example of his nimble-fingered anchoring.
Often, the band’s music gives off an aura that it will recklessly careen out of control at any given moment. Nevertheless, Municipal Waste reigns in the chaos just enough to give it that tightness that all awesome thrash metal must have and the added crossover appeal thrown in guarantees flying bodies (and possibly body parts) at the group’s live appearances. “Set To Destruct” brings to mind yet another alphabet soup crossover act, the almost-inimitable Stormtroopers Of Death. Sergeant D. Redux? A similar sonic appeal is highly evident. Ample riffing provided by Mr. Ryan Waste ranges from blistering, precision strikes to shifting mosh chords. The axe-man obviously knows his business well and can be trusted to issue a scathing lead or two along the way.
Of course, this package sports the same Ed Repka art as the original release. (When placed next to the album cover for Megadeth’s “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying,” the two covers actually fit together. It’s quite an amusing visual, in all actuality.
The major selling point of HAZARDOUS MUTATION REDUX is the inclusion of a new DVD entitled “Live In Richmond 2006,” where the Waste cases do things up good and underground like. This band has every nuance of the old-school down pat – right to the hand-painted banner proudly hanging behind the drum kit of snappy drummer Dave Witte. There’s plenty of behind-the-scenes footage of the band backstage, shooting the shit, partying down and generally having a good time. What’s great about this video is that you get the impression that Municipal Waste are actually a great bunch of fun-loving guys and it’s high time someone put the fun back into ripping music of this sort.
Intimacy is key during the concert footage, with plenty of crowd interaction, and the sensation of an old school gig. If anything could be a great advertisement for heading out to check these Virginia skank-fiends out in concert, this DVD is it. Not to spoil the entire affair, but you’ll actually get a glimpse of a wizard in this footage. Of course, it isn’t The Wizard, but Foresta is pretty damn entertaining in a purple robe and pointy hat, nonetheless. Also of note, you’ll hear some great tracks here from the band’s previous recordings like the highly-entertaining “Drunk As Shit” and the simply ripping “Waste ‘Em All”
While finding this release to be enjoyable last year when it initially surfaced, its less-than-half-hour length gave rise to questions. This revamped version easily erases any doubts about the value fans will get for their money. Most are in agreement that Municipal Waste has successfully brought back the fun and excitement of classic crossover metal with a modern twist and HAZARDOUS MUTATION REDUX serves as ample proof of that fact. Watch those cheap shots in the pit or you just might be the recipient of a boot party that’s straight from the good old days, but feel free to skank like you’ve been completely surrounded by a big, red circle. Needless to say, this set comes as being much recommended.