At this point in time, unless you’ve lived in a cave for the past few years, you know that Municipal Waste’s previous three albums (and an EP) have been steeped in thrash, beer, and partying… in no particular order. In that brief time, Municipal Waste’s impending retro-thrash throwback almost single-handedly inspired a plethora of seventeen year-old kids to buy Reeboks and shamelessly – and unfortunately – unintelligently “borrow” Kreator, Exodus, and D.R.I. riffs coupled with an emphasis on party-centric lyrics and sharp, speedy riffs.
To The Waste’s credit, though, they’re one of the few bands that manages to bring something new to the table on a consistent basis. Over the course of the band’s brief history, Municipal Waste has shown evolution and gradual, albeit slight, updates and innovations to their sound, culminating in Massive Aggressive, which – as cheesy and clichéd as it is dub it this – is probably the band’s most mature offering to date.
Guitar solos are few and far between, and certainly not the stars of the show on Massive Aggressive, lending the album’s sound more to the mid-80s crossover scene than the late 80s thrash image The Waste perpetuates. But the music’s shining star is really the slick, and somehow skillfully technical, riffing from Ryan Waste, which gallops in tandem with Landphil’s clunking (and thankfully noticeable!) bass, alongside Dave Witte’s drumming. In whole, “Relentless Talent” showcases everyone’s musicianship beyond the party-thrash image the band continually pushes, and
the tongue-in-cheek jokes are kept in the back pocket – sans “Horny For Blood” and some of the lyrics scattered throughout – in favor of breakneck speed and musicianship, Tony Foresta’s monotone bark, a slathering of gang vocal choruses and quick tempos. Heck, Municipal Waste even throws in some mid-paced, chunky down-picking and modest tempos, lending Massive Aggressive a favor in being able to distinguish one song from another. (Note to those just strapping on those Reeboks: It doesn’t ALWAYS have to be played as fast as you can go…)
Meanwhile, the riffs on “Masked By Delirium” help shed the retro-thrash image Municipal Waste could be credited with almost resurrecting, while the title track plods along in thrash-groove territory that would make Exodus proud. “Wolves of Chernobyl” and “Wrong Answer” are the standard just-over-two-minute thrashathons Municipal Waste has established as their own sound… even if it is heavy-handedly borrowed from the past. Besides, the bulk of the MetalSucks community
probably wasn’t around for the first wave of D.R.I., Cro-Mags, and Suicidal Tendencies the first time, so Massive Aggressive ought to do it for the uninitiated.