Municipal Waste - The Last Rager - (8/10)
Published on October 3, 2019
Genre:Thrash / Crossover
News of a new Municipal Waste release always makes me smile; a band who live by the classic adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ if there ever was one. Arguably the most popular of the semi-pioneers who spearheaded the thrash revival of the mid-2000s, Municipal Waste – unlike their peers such as Evile and Toxic Holocaust – have barely changed one iota since their debut Waste ‘Em All back in 2003. Five full-length albums and countless EPs/compilations/splits later, their formula remains unchanged; booze-fuelled crossover/thrash metal at breakneck speeds with silly lyrics and a surprising amount of technical precision. It’s safe to say I’ve enjoyed literally everything they’ve put out. 2017’s Slime & Punishment was no exception, and neither is The Last Rager – a hot-off-the-press, 4-track EP to whet fans’ appetites before another inevitable LP.
An EP of this sub-genre was never going to outlast disc space – but even so, at just over ten minutes, this could’ve done with a song or two more. The Waste waste no time in reminding you of their M.O. with the introductory track “Wave Of Death”. I’m thrilled they’ve gone for the same vibe as S.O.D’s “March Of The S.O.D” or Ghoul’s “Ghetto Blasters” – just a minute and a half of pummeling riffage with no frills or flamboyance. More thrash acts should take this approach. This mini-beast shows off the splendid production quality where every layer of instrument is allowed to breathe whilst working together as one well-oiled metal machine. I applaud the Virginians for not blasting out the speakers at full velocity 100% of the time. The Last Rager contains plenty of stomping grooves and chugs during which the band’s confidence shines. Every song on here opens with a mid-tempo riff before exploding not long after. It’s headbang heaven!
Tony Foresta’s voice only seems to get more furious with age. Well into his forties, he sounds as youthfully rebellious and punkish as ever. Along with Phil and Ryan’s trademark gang shouts, he makes back-and-forth choruses like “Car-Nivore” all the more memorable. The rest of the band churn out reliable yet chaotic thrash metal the way only the Waste know how. Not so many lead breaks this time around, but plenty of riff-based action for such a short release. As always with Municipal Waste, this was never gonna break boundaries, but it reiterates with emphatic impact, why they’re one of the longest standing of the modern thrash acts. The Last Rager is a super slab of reliably rebellious crossover/thrash with which to don your sneakers and mosh around your bedroom.