Review: Municipal Waste, "Massive Aggressive"
Released August 25th, 2009
Despite my general distaste for the comedy rock genre, I’ve always gotten something out of listening to Municipal Waste that I never did from, oh let’s say, Tenacious D. Maybe it’s their signature brand of palatable, two minute crossover jams that make you want to hit the beer funnel for all 120 seconds. Or maybe it’s the fact that, unlike some other bands, their imagery is never overtly and ridiculously humorous. Listening to the Waste, I can never tell if I’m being made to laugh, or if they really are just a bunch of pseudo-clever surfer dudes who drink way, way too much beer. Whatever it is about the Richmond quartet that makes me want to crack up and crack skulls at the same time, they’ve done it again with their most current release, appropriately titled, “Massive Aggressive”.
To put it briefly, Municipal Waste’s newest album essentially represents the hangover you’d expect the morning after “The Art of Partying”; pretty damn brutal, but unquestionably less fun. With songs like, “Horny For Blood” and “Acid Sentence”, we can be sure the Waste isn’t going to sit down and write a ballad any time soon, but it’s quickly apparent on this record that they’ve turned down the comedy a notch or two. While previous efforts were full of both fist-pumping thrash, as well as tongue-in-cheek stoner humor, “Massive Aggressive” comes up overflowing from Column A and a bit short in Column B.
For adamant Waste fans, the lyrical transition from surfing to social issues may be a difficult one to grapple with. But for those of you who can hang in there for the just-under-30-minutes it takes to spin this album, you’ll find that it jams pretty hard, sounding more mature than their previous releases without deviating too noticeably from the crossover assault they’ve been known to dish out. Ryan Waste brings some killer new riffs to this record, growing musically without sacrificing any aggression, and Witte’s drumming bangs along at an expectedly breakneck pace. Even on songs that shine less than the others, there is a marked growth in the overall musicianship that fans will immediately pick up on.
All things considered, “Massive Aggressive” is a solid effort by Municipal Waste, and their most musically competent record to date. It may not necessarily be your favorite, however – despite their growth in musicianship, it could use a few more hooks like “Sadistic Magician” or “Mind Eraser”. And being the most serious of their releases to date, a lot of you are gonna wish they’d go back to writing about, you know, sharks and stuff. Still, it showcases some of the most original work in the new wave of thrash and is worth picking up for fans of the genre.