There is something to be said about consistency of writing with a band. They find a sound and they stick to their guns. No bullshit, no deviation. There is also to be said about bands that constantly push their own limits and diversify themselves as artists and musicians. Always making themselves better with their music and pushing our and their expectations. Then there is MUNICIPAL WASTE. A oddball band that rides the line of both, their latest effort “Massive Aggressive” is both exactly what one would expect from one of the world’s most recognized Crossover acts and a slightly different monster from their others. It’s an odd combination that makes it their best album to date.
If you aren’t familiar with how MUNICIPAL WASTE gets about their music then “Massive Aggressive” might be a shock to your system. They are definitely a Crossover act, combining the best elements of early Hardcore Punk (and not this more modern shit that claims to be Punk) and some of the best qualities of Thrash Metal into a quick and dirty one-two punch that will probably knock you on your ass. Most of the music on their fourth record follows in this vein (as with all of their albums) by giving us one and a half to three minute opuses of chaotic and energetic fueled riffs that borderline leads themselves, snare driven Punk styled drumming, a wandering and spastic bass, and yelled vocals from both the long winded Tony Foresta at the lead and the other members for tons of group chanting. It’s hard not to enjoy what MUNICIPAL WASTE has to offer on this album on this end with their tongue in cheek tactics (the odd and hysterical “Horny For Blood”) and their contagious energy. I found myself chanting along with “Wolves Of Chernobyl” days after I last heard the song it was so much fun.
Alas though, all this was done before by the band and if you listened to their party rock themed “The Art Of Partying” then this side of the band is going to be pretty much the same. When the band is this much fun and exciting though, the consistency is anything but boring. But that’s not what makes “Massive Aggressive” their best album to date. It helps that the band is good at what they play and mastered the art of Crossover, but what I like about this album is that the band takes their music to subtle new limits. Most of it has to do with how the band is moving. Where “The Art Of Partying” was all about fun, drinking, and Thrashing it out, this little monster is a little bit wider than that. Lyrically, it’s more open to giving us stories (mostly about ridiculous concepts like a cyborg that is fueled by human flesh in “Mech-Cannibal”) and even more Thrash oriented lyrical ideas like “Media Skeptic”. Not only are they slightly spreading their wings in that area but the band does it musically too. They even have a mid-tempo section on “Acid Sentence” (gasp!) that allows the band to weave their way back into the more chaotic Punk style from before. This happens a few times on the album and it’s just enough to make it even better then their other material. It’s not much, but it’s enough progression as a band to make this one stand out a bit more and make it fresh again.
MUNICIPAL WASTE once again proves their relevance in the Thrash genre with “Massive Aggressive”. It’s pretty much the same awesome energetic material we’ve come to love from the band but with enough new areas explored to give this album its own identity. I for one will be playing the hell out of this one and chanting along “Massive Aggressive” for a long time and I hope you do too.
Songs to check out: “Wolves Of Chernobyl”, “Masked By Delirium”, “Horny For Blood”.
(Online September 12, 2009)