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Municipal Waste - "Electrified Brain" (CD)

Municipal Waste - "Electrified Brain" CD cover image

"Electrified Brain" track listing:

1. Electrified Brain
2. Demoralizer
3. Last Crawl
4. Grave Dive
5. The Bite
6. High Speed Steel
7. Thermonuclear Protection
8. Blood Vessel / Boat Jail
9. Crank The Heat
10. Restless And Wicked
11. Ten Center Beer Night
12. Barreled Rage
13. Putting On Errors
14. Paranormal Janitor

Reviewed by on September 12, 2022

"They take the foundations laid by D.R.I. and Cryptic Slaughter and build the perfect party house"

It seems strange to explain this to younger metal fans, but back in the mid to late 2000s, there was a worldwide resurgence in the popularity of thrash metal. Not only did the veterans receive a second wind, but there was no shortage of young bands playing the style too. A lot of these bands came and went, but one band which burst on to the scene like John Belushi in the middle of a coke binge was Virginia's own Municipal Waste. The Richmond party animals immediately grabbed the ears of thrash fans around the world with their perfect blend of classic crossover metal and fun, often hilarious lyrics and attitude. Five years on from their last album, "Slime And Punishment," how does the new release "Electrified Brain" fare? Let me tell you.

Straight away, the title track reassures longtime fans that nothing has changed. "Electrified Brain" is vintage Municipal Waste, a great throwback to the ferociously fast thrash one expects from the quintet. The album barely slows down from here, delivering fourteen tracks of mayhem, some which stand out more than others. "High Speed Steel" feels like everything thrash metal fans love wrapped up in one package. Other highlights include "Crank The Heat," a wonderfully catchy song with a more mid-tempo dynamic and "Barreled Rage," which stakes a good claim for being the best song on the album.

The popularity of Municipal Waste lies not in their ability to reinvent the wheel, but in being able to sell you a wheel that you know you can depend on, like Motorhead or AC/DC. People know what to expect from the Waste at this point. They take the foundations laid by D.R.I. and Cryptic Slaughter and build the perfect party house, with a little bit of politics thrown in for good measure. The entire album is a fast-paced affair and those who don't like thrash or old school hardcore won't be drawn to it, but Municipal Waste do possess a variety in their speed, be it the Slayer-esque chaos of "Paranormal Janitor" or the more sturdy train speed of "Thermonuclear Devastation."

All in all, this is a Municipal Waste album. It's fast, it's fun, it's great to listen to when you want to party or if you're just pissed off with the world. Municipal Waste survived the thrash revival and modern day trends by being a top notch band which knows their strengths, hides their weaknesses, gives their fans what they want, and put on an amazing live show. In a troubled world, it's nice to have someone you can depend on, even if it's five crazy guys with a penchant for excellent guitars, head banging and more alcohol than David Carradine could get through in a week.

Highs: "High Speed Steel," "Barreled Rage" and "Crank The Heat"

Lows: Can feel a bit repetitive after a while and feels a little shy of some of their classic albums

Bottom line: Municipal Waste can still melt faces like Kurt Russell in The Thing and thrash as fast as any of the legends. Great job lads.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)