I'm usually into more serious thrash, but recently, I've felt more exploratory towards all of it's forms, and, to this end, decided to investigate Municipal Waste, a young, energetic crossover-thrash band with, in this album, and most of their others, fun, beer-fueled lyrics, as opposed to the political, angry themes of the majority of thrash I'd listened to. Of their four studio albums, "Hazardous Mutation" seemed to nicely sum-up the band's style.
This album doesn't have any slow songs. It doesn't have any long songs either, the longest being a massive 2:38. Having been someone who considered Toxic Holocaust songs to be short, this album absolutely flew by, but, at the same time, had a lot to say. It's not that the songs shortness takes their meaning, instead, the songs are simply immensely fast and frantic, in order to fit as much content into the short space of time each song is allocated. The vocals are almost entirely spat out at machine-gun speed, and seldom is a lyric understandable without some degree of consultation with google. Nonetheless, the vocals epitomise fast, reckless, and undoubtedly beer-fueled thrash, at it's fastest, and most fun. The lyrics don't take themselves too seriously, nor are they mind-bendingly deep - they neither need to be, nor want to be. And they work that way.
From a technical point of view, the musicianship is pretty tight from all corners, and manages to stay integrated, even at the highest of speeds. While the riffs over which vocals are flowing are sometimes bordering on bland, while nonetheless fast, the real skill of the band is exemplified by the gems which are scattered liberally around the songs - the "thrash" bits, as opposed to the punk influenced areas. These gems hint at the band's ability, and also bolster the songs catchiness, doing a good job, for the most part, of preventing the songs from sounding too thoroughly similar to one another, which is still, undeniably, a factor - the vocal patterns, especially, follow very traditional, dare-I-say predictable paths, although, generally, this is prevented from being overly detrimental to the song-quality by their length - the songs on the album don't attack as individuals, they attack as a swarm of moshable two-minute entities.
Overall, "Hazardous Mutation" is a solid, consistent album. It is quite clear that Municipal Waste is a band which knows what it's doing, and isn't afraid to do it. Not only does it show definite direction, it it also thoroughly enjoyable, when in the right mood.
I give the album 7/10.
Municipal Waste on Myspace
Municipal Waste on Metal-Archives