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MUNICPAL WASTE Islington Academy
17 December 2010

Municipal Waste, photo by Bob Singleton
Photo: Bob Singleton

When Municipal Waste's mischievous singer Tony Foresta hits the stage dressed from head to toe as a Christmas Tree, you know two things: 1. It's Christmas. 2. This is going to be a lot of fun.

Virginia's Municipal Waste are leading lights in the current new wave of thrash and, as evidenced here tonight, have a loyal and fanatical following. Their fusion of classic thrash and hardcore punk, coupled with a keen sense of humour, guarantees a high energy and fun night out for the new generation of thrashers in the mosh zone here tonight.

It's also immense fun for the older first generation thrashers, such as myself, who these days pitch themselves just outside of that mosh zone for fear of heart attack, or even worse, spilt beer.

The set tonight is pretty evenly spread between tracks from the current album 'Massive Aggressive', and the two previous albums, 2007's excellent 'The Art Of Partying' and 2005's 'Hazardous Mutation'.

Municipal Waste, photo by Bob Singleton
Photo: Bob Singleton

The fun and games truly commence with the second track tonight, 'Beer Pressure', where the first circle pit of the evening is called for and the ecstatic crowd are only too willing to oblige, with the pit taking up pretty much the whole of the dancefloor.

 A flurry of Waste classics follow. The excellent 'Headbanger Face Rip' has a great shout-along chorus, and 'Terror Shark' hits the spot with the immortal line 'helpless in the water you're a human buffet'. In keeping with the Christmas spirit, 'The Thrashing Of The Christ' is dedicated to Satan, and 'Wolves Of Chernobyl' shows the band haven't lost their touch with the newer material.

Municipal Waste, photo by Bob Singleton
Photo: Bob Singleton

Bassist Landphil treats the crowd to a quality mini-bass solo as an intro to the brilliant 'Sadistic Magician', and 'Acid Sentence' has some local relevance, its subject matter being the 40's acid bath murderer John Haigh.

The ultra hardcore 'Sweet Attack' goes back to the very first Municipal Waste album, 'Waste Em All', before the infamous 'wall of death' is called for with the two chosen sides gallantly slamming into each other to usher in the last few tracks of the set.

'Unleash The Bastards' whips the crowd into a frenzy before 'Born to Party', featuring the official Waste chant of 'Municipal Waste is gonna fuck you up!', brings a great, fun packed set to a close.

Municipal Waste, photo by Bob Singleton
Photo: Bob Singleton

The crowd raise a chant of 'one more song' and the band return to the stage for the finale of 'Pre-Game/The Art Of Partying', the blistering opening cuts from the band's third album, giving the faithful one last blast of prime hardcore thrash as singer Tony Foresta leaps into the crowd at the end.

There aren't too many dimensions to Municipal Waste's sound, they are loud, hard and fast from beginning to end, but they have an identifiable sound that works and they stick to it. They are also immense fun, their lyrics and song titles not to be taken too seriously, but all add to a great drunken rocking night out.

It's also nice to see thrashers, new and old, mixing it up with a fair few punks here tonight who identify with the band's hardcore leanings.

The humour and fun element of the band definitely tips a nod towards Anthrax or even Lawnmower Death, and the thrash aggression, along with the band's artwork, reminds me of one of the great old school thrash bands, Nuclear Assault.

It's not too long before Municipal Waste return to the UK for next year's Hammerfest, where they're guaranteed to give the happy campers another lesson in the art of partying.

Review by Jim Rowland

Photos by Bob Singleton

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