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Municipal Waste - The Last Rager Award winner

Municipal Waste
The Last Rager
by Chris Hawkins at 23 December 2019, 4:09 PM

It is absolutely mind blowing to comprehend the fact that 2020 will be when MUNICIPAL WASTE celebrate their twentieth anniversary.  Over the course of six full-lengths, numerous EPs and splits, and countless tours around the planet, the band have always stayed true to their initial vision of crafting pure Thrash/Crossover material catered to the mosh pit and body boarding over the top.  The band have never changed their image or their sound for trends but instead have further refined their craft.  One knows what to expect from the band which means a lot to fans but can also be difficult for a band to home in on.  MUNICIPAL WASTE do so effortlessly, though, with tasty riffs, nasty breakdowns, and songs dedicated to living the headbanger life.  Though “The Last Rager” is but four tracks, it is a most welcome release showing this reviewer particularly that Thrash will always be a genre where maniacally wicked riffs take on such a predatory status.

As “Wave of Death,” the first song, starts playing, the first thing that pops into my head is: “Among the Living”.  That comparison comes from the powerful Scott Ian-style rhythm that really moves the pit.  When the blasting unexpectedly comes in, the song becomes much more impulsive and urgent.  These guys have been cranking out consistent, killer Thrash.  The following track, "Car Nivore (Street Meat)," is yet another gem of a tune with killer groove and once again, some killer surprises.  The fast, ultra-aggressive part features a furiously intense bass performance.  The bass tone is perfectly suited for the material with just the right amount of dirt yet still retaining clear, cutting articulation.

Typically, we don’t cover more than half of the tracks on an album, but an exception must be made here.  The third track, “Rum for Your Life,” is a Thrash-terpiece with a great title.  The way the riffs connect to each other is simply classic and proof of the band’s indelible devotion to providing pure Trash sans gimmicks.  The title and final track is excellent as well and the longest of the EP at 3:15 minutes.

Never has Municipal Waste sounded so mature.  Still true to their core blend of D.R.I. and SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, the band seem to have finely crafted their sound in the time since “The Art of Partying,” which is still an essential compendium of Thrash excellence.  There are elements within that invoke MEGADETH, particularly in the way the leads blend soaring melody and an instinctual affinity for dropping Pentatonic licks anywhere in the mix.  Thus, the take away from the EP is that present maturity.  MUNICIPAL WASTE have paid their dues over the years so it should not be shocking that they have refined their sound with such an exacting, precise definition.  “The Last Rager,” though just four songs, is proof that hard work coupled with a shared dedicated vision can pay off in dividends.

Songwriting:  9
Originality:  8
Memorability:  8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Wave of Death
2. Car Nivore (Street Meat)
3. Rum for Your Life
4. The Last Rager
Tony Foresta –Vocals
Ryan Waste – Lead Guitar
Philip “Landphil” Hall – Bass
Dave Witte – Drums
Nick “Nikropolis” Poulos – Lead Guitar
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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