"Tango & Thrash" (Nuclear Blast; 2024)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I have been reviewing music for for thirty years and have done over 2000 reviews. Hard to imagine I have been doing this for so long, but it is what it is. Over the years, I've developed a few rules: One is that I rarely, if ever, review EPs (4 songs or less). Municipal Waste's "Tango & Thrash has nine tracks, so it doesn't really qualify as an EP. Or does it? More on that later.

Now onto the review. I have been a fan of Municipal Waste for a while and, when I noticed they had a new recording out, I jumped. I listened to "Tango & Thrash" and there are five songs here with titles from Kurt Russell movies. That's it. I was totally in. I started listening and I suddenly realized that, like most of Municipal Waste's songs, these were really short tracks and, after just a short nine minutes, the album was over. Now, in all my years writing reviews, I have never, ever reviewed an album that was only nine minutes long! But I figured, what the hell, it's Municipal Waste! This is how it's supposed to be! Needless to say, nine songs in nine minutes is a stretch but listening to this recording is comparable to dropping a water balloon full of paint from a tall building and watching go splat! Municipal Waste crams thirty minutes' worth of music in only nine minutes of actual recording time and that, in my opinion, is worth something.

The songs related to Kurt Russell are:
Escape From New York"
Big Trouble in Little China"
Captain Ron/Overboard"

Tango And Thrash"

Also, there is a very cool pic of Kurt on the album cover.

I witnessed something special in this recording and it literally gave me goose bumps. "Tango & Thrash" is simply a musical rush that should be experienced. It took me three times longer to write this review than it took me to listen to the recording. What fun!

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"Electrified Brain" (Nuclear Blast; 2022)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I can't believe it's been ten years since we reviewed a Municipal Waste album, and they've released plenty of music since 2012 (albums, EPs and splits). I could list a ton of excuses and reasons but that would be chickenshit so let's just say we dropped the ball.

The good news is that, despite the fact the last album we reviewed was 2012's "The Fatal Feast," Municipal Waste is still pumping out their brand of barely-in-control thrash as evidenced on the fourteen-track "Electrified Brain." From the raging title track to the album closer (with the awesome title of "Paranormal Janitor") "Electrified Brain" swells with furious thrash pacing, fast-and-furious guitar riffage (plus incendiary leads) and a vocalist who sings with such volume and speed he could probably get a second job as an auctioneer.

The band wastes no time here. Only one track runs longer than three minutes and three tracks run less than two minutes. It's a get in, get the job done, and get the hell out approach and Municipal Waste does just that. By the time those fourteen tracks have come to an end thirty five minutes later, you've got just enough time to catch your breath and hit replay. And you're gonna want to do that.

Municipal Waste: Tony Foresta – lead vocals; Ryan Waste – rhythm guitar, backing vocals; Philip "Land Phil" Hall – bass, backing vocals; Dave Witte – drums; Nick "Nikropolis" Poulos – lead guitar.

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"The Fatal Feast" (Nuclear Blast; 2012)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Richmond, VA’s party-mongering crossover kings returns to hell-raising form with 16 tracks of tongue-in-cheek thrash metal delights entitled "The Fatal Feast."

Municipal Waste triumphantly cranks out a furious array of whiplash-inducing riffs and blasts of blistering rhythms armed with the shared passion from the old guard of bands such as DRI, Suicidal Tendencies and Nuclear Assault (whose John Connelly makes a guest appearance here).

Guaranteed to set the dance floor off and keep heads banging throughout, this album finds Municipal Waste raging with the rabid intensity and rapid-fire raucousness a band of their veteran status and musical experience can dole out with a hearty dose of the good friendly violent fun that they’ve adopted as their own.

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"Massive Aggressive" (Earache; 2009)

Reviewed by Spudbeast

Let me start by saying I love Municipal Waste. "Hazardous Mutation" was my 2005 pick for Album of the Year. "The Art of Partying" was in the top five in 2007. But, as much as it pains me to say it, I don't think "Massive Aggressive" will make it to my Top Ten of 2009.

"Massive Aggressive" is by no means a bad CD, but it's just missing the crucial element that makes Municipal Waste such a phenomenon and magnet band: hooks. The musicianship here is better than ever. Ryan Waste's riffs have more complex structure, Land Phil's bass is as solid as ever and, of course, Dave Witte's drumming is godlike. Tony's vocals sounds good but not as well-mixed as in the previous two albums.

But the improved musicianship is not enough to make up for the lack of hooks, songs that I can sing with my friends when we're drunk. There's no "Terror Shark," no "Sadistic Magician" and this really hurts the album because the reason I love Municipal Waste is that they're so much fucking fun -- blasting them in your car doing a beer run at 1AM or at a party. I just can't see me playing "Massive Aggressive" as much of the others. It feels like they reverted to the days of "Waste 'em All" -- good, but not legendary. Songs like "Wolves of Chernobyl" and "The Wrath of the Severed Head" stand out because these are relatively catchy and are more up-tempo.

Don't get me wrong: "Massive Aggressive" is a good album; it's just a bit disappointing. But I still have much faith in the Waste and I know that such a mighty band won't disappoint for long.

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"The Art of Partying" (Earache; 2007)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

The glory days of crossover metal have been lovingly revisited thanks to everyone's favorite beer-drinking hellraisers Municipal Waste and their latest offering, "The Art of Partying."

Remember bands like Scatterbrain, DRI, and SOD? Well don't fret if you were too young to catch the first wave of the hybrid because these cats bring it to you. This hard-partying Virginia-based quartet (bolstered by drummer extraordinaire Dave Wittie's massive percussive power) make no bones about their allegiance to illicit consumption of alcohol and drugs and thrashing the night away, as their lighthearted lyrical content and  iron fisted musical attack deliberately denotes. 

Leave all seriousness at the door and be prepared to bang your head to the might of tracks like "Sadistic Magician" and the ridiculously entitled yet utterly crushing "Rigorous Vengeance."

Who said metal can't be fun again? Just check the feelgood moshpit anthem "Born to Party" as proof that it doesn't always have to be about gloom and corpsepaint.

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"Hazardous Mutation" (Earache; 2005)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Old school rules! Dig out the denim jacket and polish up the bullet belt, as listening to Municipal Waste's 16-track thrash-a-thon is like taking a time machine back to the late '80s metal scene as the genres began to blend. 

Emulating crossover kings like Anthrax, Leeway, Nuclear Assault, and DRI, tracks like "The Thing," "Accelerated Vision," and the cleverly titled and precisely played "Guilty of Being Tight" keeps the pace manic and the fists on continuous pump. 

Blowing the dust off of the hardcore punk aesthetic and keeping their metal chops way up, "Hazardous Mutation" features the gang vocal choruses, popping basslines, buzzsaw guitars and devil may care attitude that Gorilla Biscuits and SOD lovingly brought to the table. 

Abandon all fears and get your thrash on with this monstrous machine. 

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"Waste 'Em All" (Six Weeks Records; 2003)

Reviewed by Snidermann

To say Municipal Waste plays fast rock music is like petting a cheetah and saying "good kitty." Their 2003 release, "Waste 'Em All" is a collection of thunderous music done at a blistering pace. However, when I compare this release to later releases like "The Art Of Partying," I find myself wanting.

"Waste 'Em All" has all the attributes of the band's other recordings, but not the substance. As you might expect, they've grown a little over the years. I found the music fragmented and confusing here and I kept waiting for it to get better but it never really does.

Do not judge Municipal Waste by "Waste 'Em All"; it's far from their best recording but it's an early one so that's understandable. Check out "The Art Of Partying" or "Hazardous Mutation" to hear this band at their best.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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