Municipal Waste – Massive Aggressive (Earache/Riot)

Maturity doesn’t have to be boring. Municipal Waste prove that with their fourth album Massive Aggressive. No more just a party band, this time they’ve raised the bar with a tight, lean thrash metal classic that’ll have a lot of bands looking over their shoulders or crying in the sandpit.

Fuck but I love these guys!  This is old-school thrash punk/metal with no irony, no pisstakes, none of the “aren’t we cool?” vibe – just fast, hard, solid smash mouth thrash ala DRI, early Corrosion of Conformity and Suicidal Tendencies.  In fact on the first couple of listens it was the Suicidals that immediately came to mind. 

Tony Foresta’s vocals really bring to mind Mike Muir at his best and Dave Witte’s drumming really hammered that skate/thrash rhythm that the STs were famous for.  Going back for more though I can hear Exodus, Slayer, Metallica before they became boring, Uncle Slam and more besides.  There’s a definite line being drawn in the sand and I don’t think there are too many newer bands who would be able to cross it.  

With the album clocking in at just under thirty minutes, Municipal Waste are a band that obviously don’t feel the need to fill an album with filler just because the technology is there.  No big ballads, no live bonuses, no demos, no tracks that weren’t good enough the first time around: just thirteen tracks, the longest all of three minutes and one second, that thrash it hard and fast and loud and then get the fuck out for a beer and a piss. Sweaty, aggressive, monstrous but the sound is tight and lean and clean.

There’s a maturity in the sound now compared to the earlier Hazardous Mutation era. Witte on drums and Land Phil on bass have really tightened up to become a much more cohesive unit and the songs are much stronger for it, Ryan Waste’s guitar work still shreds, with not a note wasted and Foresta holds it all together with his vocals. 

Picking favourite tracks is kind of pointless with an album like this but the title track Massive Aggressive, Upside Down Church, Horny For Blood and Acid Sentence (with it’s touch of Slayer and Metallica) are probably my pick.  But hell, it’s a thirty minute album, just throw it on, crank the fucker up and bounce off the damn walls.

Municipal Waste's Massive Aggressive is out now on Earache/Riot.