October 7, 2019 Municipal Waste – The Last Rager (EP Review)
If you have never witnessed a band getting a circle pit going inside an amphitheater shed, meet the insane metalhead punks in Municipal Waste who will stop at nothing to bring the mayhem to a venue near you! To prove this very fact, they deliver their new EP, The Last Rager, on Friday, October 11th, 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records.
Isn’t it fitting that this band’s first show was a keg party? Formed in 2001 in Richmond, Virginia, Municipal Waste wear their (early) Metallica and Suicidal Tendencies’ influences on their sleeves on albums such as 2003’s Waste ‘Em All, 2009’s Massive Aggressive, and most recently 2017’s Slime and Punishment. With six full-lengths to their name, along with several EPs, the Crossover Thrash quintet has undergone line-up changes throughout the years, and toured with the likes of Suicidal Tendencies, At the Gates, and Darkest Hour.
Thrashing is their business and, boys and ghouls, business is good! For their fourth EP and tenth overall studio release, Municipal Waste—Vocalist Tony Foresta, Guitarists Ryan Waste and Nick “Nikropolis” Poulos, Bassist Philip “LandPhil” Hall, along with Drummer Dave Witte—present the 4-song The Last Rager. Produced by Bassist Hall, these four tracks run the gamut through a lightning fast but tantalizing mix of all that Municipal Waste do best.
The Last Rager opens to the thrashing guitar assault of “Wave of Death,” which, aside from a few gang vocal chants, is entire instrumental and showcases the band’s musicianship, particularly Witte’s exceptional drumming. Serving as an introduction, this leads into the throttling insanity of “Car-Nivore (Street Meat),” a frenetic combination of the quintet’s heavy old-school Thrash influences and tons of Punk attitude and grit.
The witty play on words of “Rum For Your Life” blends racing, frantic guitar work with Foresta’s gruff vocals as the band create a stomping core that invites everyone to go wild in the pit. (Patch-covered denim vests are not optional!) Amping this up to monstrous levels, EP namesake “The Last Ranger” stomps and grinds viciously like Godzilla trekking through the streets of Tokyo.
Is The Last Rager monumental? No, but to be fair four songs is hardly anything to judge a band on. If you are new to Municipal Waste, the EP is a perfect whetting of the palette that will introduce you to these spastic, headbanging punks. Bottling their incendiary freneticism into four tracks, the band offer a micro-glimpse at what they are capable of, musically speaking. For fans, this is just another reason to thrash! For this, Cryptic Rock gives The Last Rager 4 of 5 stars.
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