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Municipal Waste: Massive Aggressive

Album Notes

Listening to only one Municipal Waste album -- 2005's Hazardous Mutation, say -- one could easily be convinced that the joke would wear thin very quickly. How much can you really get out of cloning the crossover hardcore/thrash sound of D.R.I., Agnostic Front, S.O.D., early Suicidal Tendencies, et al.? Well, on its fourth full-length, this Virginia-based band of bros has managed to keep things relatively fresh, not by changing its sound in any significant way but simply by keeping the energy level jacked straight into the red. Grindcore drummer supreme Dave Witte bashes out lightning-fast thrash beats, leavened with some Discharge-style hardcore rhythms, as guitarist Ryan Waste and bassist Land Phil crank out retro riffs as potent as anything on Dealing with It, Join the Army, or Speak English or Die. Song titles like "Wolves of Chernobyl" and "Mech-Cannibal" maintain the '80s vibe, while goofy but horror-minded tracks like "The Wrath of the Severed Head" and "Horny for Blood" are about what you think they'll be about. Each Municipal Waste album has a theme of sorts; where Hazardous Mutation was focused on '80s horror and songs that offered meta-commentary on the awesomeness of thrash, and The Art of Partying was about what its title suggested, Massive Aggressive is more of a mixed bag, though the primary themes are violence and destruction, with a tiny bit of political awareness thrown in ("Media Skeptic," "Wrong Answer"). They're never gonna be the philosopher kings of metal, but Municipal Waste have remained entertaining a lot longer than most would have predicted, and that's an achievement on its own. ~ Phil Freeman


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