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 f*ck you up!
The band has really benefited from the updated production and instead of a flurry of guitars (they weren't bad before just not quite as clear and clean sounding) they now have heavy and clean guitar sounds. The double guitar work doesn’t build any sort of atmosphere and they aren’t written to be catchy (it must have happened naturally) but the guitars just focused on being fast, chaotic, and thrashy as hell. And that's exactly what they do. The dueling riffs combined with fast furious solos and leads will make any old school thrash head 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. The chemistry is astounding.
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 is a mix of Thrash singing and Hardcore screaming (think EXODUS but a little less harsh). This is a great older style of singing that fits well with their concept. Nothing is too far from the base and there is 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 too much but is more concerned with drinking, destroying, partying, and playing Thrash 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 album 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 of that kind of music I would just plain stay away. For those of us who revel in that 80s Thrash music then this is heaven in a small plastic disc.
Songs to check out: “Headbanger Face Rip”, “Beer Pressure”, “Born To Party”.
(Online September 27, 2007)