Listening to It Isn’t a Punishment at All
Partying isn’t something just for college-age kids. Shotgunning beers before raucously running around town may seem like a youthful pastime, but there’s a certain propensity for raging that comes with a lot of adulthood. Andrew W.K. built a career around it, but Municipal Waste have done this with even more energetic rowdiness. It’s been five years since the Richmond, Virginia outfit’s cosmic, slightly conceptual album, The Fatal Feast (Waste in Space). Now, the gang is finally back with their sixth LP, Slime and Punishment. In true thrash metal form, these Southern boys blast through the 14-track album in under 30 minutes. It’s almost hard to keep up with, but after a few run throughs, one can focus on the aural affairs at hand.
Not much has changed for the Waste boys as far as sound is concerned. If anything, their straightforward, raw thrash has the potential to sound fuller due to the addition of Nick “Nikropolis” Poulos (Volture, Bat, ex-Cannibal Corpse) as the second guitarist. He is fairly underutilized on Slime and Punishment, as the album lacks major guitar solos and doesn’t take much advantage of dual shred time between Poulos and OG guitarist Ryan Waste. This doesn’t detract from the album at all, though, as they each kill it in their own way.
Tony Foresta’s uproarious vocals immediately evoke a sense of wanting to fuck shit up. As soon as intro track “Breathe Grease” starts up, technical guitar work lays solid groundwork for Foresta’s excited vocal delivery. It leads perfectly into the next track, “Enjoy the Night,” where the first pair of lyrical lines are a good identifier of the album and the band’s aesthetic as a whole: “Tonight I’m gonna get real reckless / tonight we’re gonna party senseless,” Foresta sings — pretty accurate.
“Shrednecks” and “Parole Violators” show drummer Dave Witte bringing out his best beats, as does “Bourbon Discipline,” which has a speed metal element to it. “Death Proof” is the longest track on the album, still clocking in at under three minutes. It’s rumored to be a nod to the Tarantino film of the same name, though Foresta’s gruff tones make it a little hard to decipher that lyrical truth.
In all honesty, there isn’t really anything to dislike about Slime and Punishment at all. Municipal Waste are great at inciting excitement and liveliness, and, with their latest, the energy flows through listeners’ ears from start to finish.