Is this a joke? This could be the question that comes to mind when listening to Municipal Waste’s latest album, Massive Aggressive, especially with song titles like “Horny for Blood” and “Acid Sentence.” Formed in Richmond, Virginia in 2001, Municipal Waste is a throwback to the thrash-punk days of old; they’ve always been part tribute and part joke, poking fun at the genre they love. On this album, Municipal Waste has gotten slightly more serious.
On their first album, Hazardous Mutation, they had song titles like “Drunk as Sh*t” and “Knife Fight,” so new song titles like “Divine Blasphemer” are still funny but also add a little intellect. The music isn’t bad either. Sometimes it’s hard to get past Municipal Waste’s silly exterior to notice the musicians beneath. They make no effort to hide their influences, which would be bands like Anthrax, D.R.I, Gwar, Suicidal Tendencies and basically anyone from the 80’s and early 90’s whose melded punk and metal together.
Take the lyrics from “Mech-Cannibal” off their latest album: “Back in the spring of 1983/That’s when the Mech-Cannibal begins to feed.” Despite the fact that they heavily barrow from a lot of people, Municipal Waste are actually a pretty good band. This album especially focuses more on the punk side of things while its predecessor was more on the metal side. This is particularly evident on songs like “Wolves of Chernobyl” and “Divine Blasphemer,” which are both laden with chunky, punky bass lines, simple guitar riffs and those distinctly punk shouted vocals and repeating lyrics. Fans of their more metal side might be disappointed but they do the style justice if that’s what you’re into.