Five years? FIVE YEARS?!? How the hell did it take Municipal Waste five years to record the follow-up to 2012’s much feted ‘the fatal feast’? Presumably the band were drinking themselves under whatever table was unlucky enough to be in the vicinity and occasionally belching out potent riffs. Whatever, Municipal Waste are back with a new addition to the ranks in the form of guitarist Nick Poulos and a seemingly revitalised desire play hard and party harder. The band’s punk-infused thrash may not challenge anyone in the originality stakes, but Municipal Waste have long been far more about the excitement of the ride than the innovations that lie at its heart and the result is the musical equivalent of a ghost train – the band dispensing plenty of thrills over the course of the album’s twenty-eight minute run time and then legging it before you have a chance to realise that the ghosts are, in fact, bedsheets. Not that it matters, for the short time you’ll spend in the company of this album you’ll forget everything but a seemingly irresistible need to head bang ferociously, and if that doesn’t strike to the very core of what it means to play metal, then I’m not sure what does.
With time so short, the band need to hit the ground running and this they do with the furious ‘breathe grease’, a punk-as-fuck blast that sees the band nail a grinding riff that takes ‘kill ‘em all’ and smashes it around the head with the streetwise punk of Sick of it all, before segueing straight into ‘enjoy the night’, a sub-sixty-second melt-down that recalls Slayer’s ridiculous ‘undisputed attitude’ album. Things hardly calm down with the cascading groove of ‘Dingy situations’, a track which does much to suggest what the Beastie Boys might have sounded like if they’d spent more time shredding with Kerry King. At two and-aa-half-minutes in length, ‘Shrednecks’ is a positive epic in Municipal Waste terms, and it’s a testament to the musical ability that the band do their level best to hide that they dispense more riffs and ideas over the course of the track than some bands manage in an entire album. Utterly unhinged, this is what we want from Municipal Waste and the crushing mid-tempo riff that concludes the track is a head banger’s dream made real. The clergy come in for a damn good thrashing with the hyper-speed ‘Poison the preacher’, Dave Witte chasing the beat around his kit like an octopus on speed, whilst the devilish chug of ‘Parole violations’ cleaves close to the band’s Suicidal tendencies influences and throws in plenty of Biohazard for good measure.
Kicking off with a riff that seems to fizz with potent energy, the title track is like taking a shot of the fluorescent green slime last seen bringing the dead back to life in cult horror flick ‘re-animator’, whilst ‘amateur sketch’ is a scything portrait of hipster fuckery, skewering wannabes with laser-guided precision. A good party anthem is never far away with Municipal Waste, of course, and ‘Excessive celebration’ delivers exactly that before ‘low tolerance’ threatens to tear the roof off with its cataclysmically heavy riffing and low-slung punk bass. A brief instrumental, ‘under the waste command’ offers up some nice harmonised guitar runs, helping to underscore Nick’s contribution to the record whilst ‘death proof’ has gang chant vocals and a hook that could land a whale. The album comes to an end, far too soon, with a fat bass line from Landphil churning through the speakers. A blistering finale, ‘think fast’ offers up some of the album’s fastest riffing and it’s as well this is the end because otherwise Municipal Waste would be held accountable for the permanent dislocation of neck muscles the world over.
Mixed and mastered by Bill Metoyer (Corrosion of Conformity, Trouble, W.A.S.P. etc. etc…), ‘Slime and punishment’ is ferocious, frequently funny and irredeemably irreverent. Five years is too damn long, the world needs Municipal Waste and ‘slime and punishment’ sees the band once again donning a grubby crown to sit precariously atop the contemporary thrash heap. The sort of thrash album that will leave you with a giant, shit-eating grin upon your face for days, ‘slime and punishment’ will see whiplash casualty-rates soar… no doubt the band will consider that the triumph that it is… 9