When Municipal Waste burst onto the scene back in 2000, the Virginians reminded us how thrilling – and downright fun – crossover thrash could be. With records like The Art Of Partying, they managed to convert many thousands to their booze-guzzling cause, as well as igniting thrash’s flame in a new generation.
And if you’re looking for the same thrills and spills that made albums such as Massive Aggressive so popular, then you’ll certainly find them on Slime And Punishment. The ‘Waste know how to deliver the goods, how to send bodies, sweat and beer flying in all directions, how to pump pure adrenaline into their fans… and songs such as the street tough Parole Violators and the hardcore frenzy of Think Fast will do just that.
There are some dirty little gems on their sixth record, that’s for sure: Shrednecks, for instance, is two glorious minutes of blistering riffs and gang vocals, with a tempo change that will punch holes through walls, wherever it’s unleashed.
Yet there’s also a sense that the band – despite the addition of a second guitarist in Nick Poulos – are treading water. Perhaps Slime And Punishment, at 14 tracks, is just too long, with too much filler (the title track included). Perhaps the short sharp shock of Iron Reagan, Tony Foresta and Phil ‘Land Phil’ Hall’s spin-off outfit, packs a harder punch. Maybe rekindling the excitement of 2005’s breakthrough, Hazardous Mutation, will always be a tall order.
However, for long-time Wasters, this opus is more fuel for the fire… and will provide a boisterous soundtrack to a thrashed-up summer.