The Art Of Partying
posted on 8/2007 By:
Municipal Waste is gonna fuck you up, dude.
Richmond’s finest (yeah, that’s right – take that, Darkest Hour) are back with yet another ode to the joys of living as everyone’s favorite mythological lush would have wanted – going on what we know about Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and theater, he totally would’ve been down with the ‘Waste. A shared love of intoxicants and over-the-top stage antics would have surely fostered a helluva bond betwixt the two, but ancient Greece, this ain’t (after all, it’s pretty hard to imagine Tony Foresta prancing about with a lyre). This is 2007, and Municipal Waste’s latest album, The Art of Partying, has arrived.
There’s been a pretty steady buzz growing around this band for a few years now, bolstered by tales of their beer-soaked, high-energy, ridiculously-fun live shows (you haven’t lived until you’ve boogie-boarded face-first into the middle of a circle pit during “Thrashin’ of the Christ!”). They’ve got their fair share of detractors, but have just as many, if not many more, devoted fans. The thing about Municipal Waste is, you either hate them for ripping off your favorite bands from the short-lived crossover thrash era…or you bless their hearts for doing it so well. It’s almost redundant to trot out the list of bands that have influenced Municipal Waste’s sound; you should be able to figure it out after hearing the first five seconds of the first song on the album. You’ve got your D.R.I., your Cryptic Slaughter, your Suicidal Tendencies, your bits’n’bobs of Bay Area thrash and meaty slabs of old-school DC hardcore (gotta love those gang chants); a familiar-sounding concoction, to be sure, but they do it so damn well!
That being said, there is some room for improvement on this album. The guys rip through 15 songs in just 32 minutes; that’s not too unusual for a thrash/punk band of their ilk (and positively epic for a grindcore release!) but the constant need for speed and lack of originality casts a certain same-y pall over The Art of Partying. No two songs sound exactly the same, but some of ‘em are pretty damn close. The ‘Waste do make an effort to mix it up, throwing in a few well-placed movie samples, taking care to lay down some ridiculously heavy headbangin’ riffs straight outta ’85 (See “Headbanger Face Rip” for a perfect example) and beefing up the more metallic side of their sound. The latter move may piss off some of the crustier fans of the band (the kind who favor bandanas and Aus-Rotten shirts over long hair and leather) who have been crying that “Municipal Waste sucks now!” ever since they signed to Earache, but really, who cares? The Art of Partying sounds like a Municipal Waste record. They didn’t suddenly pull a Black Album or put out a CD of Elliot Smith covers; they unleashed a righteous, thrashtastic collection of songs about partying, wizards, explosions, epic food fights, cartoon violence, and of course, beer. It’s fast, it’s tight, it’s well-executed, and above all, it’s fucking FUN! Remember that idea, that music can be fun to listen to? Metal doesn’t have to be serious 100% of the time – sometimes it’s okay to sing about sharks and throwing food. Municipal Waste has known this from the beginning, and that’s a huge part of their appeal.
That’s the bottom line, really. If you like this band, you’ll fucking love this album. If you hate this band, well, there’s not much on here that could sway your opinion. If you’re just now hearing about them and aren’t sure if the ‘Waste is right for you or not, give this one a spin and unleash the bastards. You won’t regret it.
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