Written by: Blackie Skulless
Basically making a name for themselves as one of the modern thrash giants, Municipal Waste have gone through some subtle changes throughout their two decade career. In 2019, they gave us a short taste called The Last Rager, one that I was actually rather disappointed in. So it came as a relief that the latest Electrified Brain didn’t leave nearly as much to be desired. Tony Foresta and Co. make a brand of thrash that after too long needs at least subtle stylistic shifts to remain relevant.
On that front, Electrified Brain is unsurprisingly the sharpest record they’ve ever released. Focusing the tiniest bit more energy on melody while cleaning the delivery on the hardcore-dense tracks is the name of the game here, but doesn’t stray too far from the previous full-length. A few standouts that really beat the “crossover” aspect fit nicely while breaking up the cleaner aesthetic. “Blood Vessel-Boat Jail” reigns in some blast beats, while tackling a more abrasive front. “Putting On Errors” may be the only other tune that goes as hard or fast as this one.
Outside of that, it’s tough to find those nuances. The nature of this delivery allows the bass to feel more present than ever, surpassing simply sticking to simple rhythms. It should also come as no surprise that things remain very focused the entire run. Amping up the energy in tracks like “The Bite” will surely not fail to bring on the classic energy that the band has always given, only under a tighter umbrella.
Ultimately though, I hardly see this as much more than a continuation of Slime And Punishment. That’s a fantastic record to model itself off of, and this was a clear step up from the aforementioned EP, but I do think some dynamic changes are going to be needed on the next record. This is tight, this is focused, and this is clean. But parts that really engage on a deeper level require some close listening.
Municipal Waste - Electrified Brains was released July 1st, 2022 via Nuclear Blast
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.