Slime And Punishment
Equipped with a crushing sound that will implode both your soul and skull, speed metal masters and Richmond Virginia locals MUNICIPAL WASTE barrel back onto the scene with their latest piece of toxic detritus Slime And Punishment! Their long awaited return has breathed a new life into this modern speed metal crossover project that was initially birthed in 2000. Being their sixth release, and their second on Nuclear Blast Records, it is no surprise the level of artistic freedom and creativity that was seamlessly pushed into this album.
Starting out playing their first live show on New Year’s Eve of 2000, MUNICIPAL WASTE released their debut self-titled EP and followed up shortly with their first full length record entitled Waste Em’ All in 2003. It wasn't long before they caught the attention of Earache Records and went on to release three more albums upon said label. In 2005 came Hazardous Mutation followed by The Art Of Partying in 2007, and then Massive Aggressive in 2009. At this point it was clear that MUNICIPAL WASTE had no intentions of leaving behind their heavy, unmistakable, speed-metal-intentions. In 2011 they caught the solid attention of Nuclear Blast Records and signed to the label, eventually releasing Fatal Feast in 2012.
As MUNICIPAL WASTE had been touring, traveling, and spending constant time on the road, it ended in them really wanting to take their time developing Slime And Punishment as well as preparing for its release. “We wanted it to be on our terms. We didn't want to put a record out just for the sake of releasing one every two years. It had to be quality material, and you can't force that so we took our time, bottom line” reflects founding member and guitarist Ryan Waste. The recording process was also different this time. With bassist Phil Hall studying the fine art of musical engineering, the band was able to record the album themselves before sending it off to Bill Metoyer (known for his work with the thrasher classics like SLAYER, W.A.S.P., LIZZY BORDEN and DARK ANGEL) in Hollywood, CA to be professionally mixed.
Adding new guitarist Nick Poulos into the mix in no way stopped MUNICIPAL WASTE from holding on to their sound and the core influences which have allowed the band to remain entrenched in the deep and brutal sound they have maintained for years. “It was pretty seamless getting him in. We've been a four piece our whole career with just me on guitar, so just adding that live element is cool for solos and dual harmonies, and it just sounds heavier. Playing a lot of outdoor shows and big festivals; the crunch is just so much more apparent now” says Waste. With a new album often comes new sound and with Poulos contributing to the song writing as well as there now being two guitarists at all, the sound erupting from this album is far more organic. “We wanted a heavier album in general. It's definitely beefed up a bit more. It's more similar to what we sound like live” states Ryan Waste. “Everyone brought stuff to the table. There was definitely more variety and it shows. This album has a lot more dynamic to it.”
Messages carried in the songs upon this release are simple but brutal, hilariously violent, and direct- as always; die-hard fans will not be disappointed. Opening track “Breathe Grease” lends a classic speedy element to Slime And Punishment: “We wanted to hit you with something super-fast right out of the gate;” reflects Waste, “it’s hard sometimes to pick the first song- but I think it should be fast.” This song is about living a life that's completely submerged in indecency and corruption- but in a great way. Vocalist and song writer Tony Foresta says: "I don't just live greasy, I BREATHE grease! You're living it man, you live for it. It's a glorified song about living the way we are: it's like a theme song!"
Tracks like “Dingy Situations” tie in with the opening track and describe elements of touring life in general. Waste explains: “It's just [about] ending up in these shady[locations]. You're out on tour, and you always end up at these dive bars, and nasty places- whatever level you get to, you always end up there somehow.” Throughout the album, there are far more guitar leads than past Waste records. This track is the first introduction to Nick Poulos's lead guitar.
Title track “Slime And Punishment” has been gradually fed to live audiences more and more with huge fan approval. “It's catchy, and it definitely fits nicely in the middle of the record” reflects Waste who is pretty keen on general song order. "It's really fun to play live" says Foresta. "We started playing it last summer and fans are really getting into it."
“Low Tolerance” showcases a new detail for the band as it's the first track every member had helped write collectively. “All five members sat in one room. We all pieced that one together, and everyone contributed their ideas- basically it's got a little bit of everything" says Waste. Tony Foresta talks about the meaning of the song: "It's like a play on having a low tolerance for alcohol, only this is having a low tolerance for other people. That's what I have a low tolerance for!"
“Think Fast” also comes with something new. Waste chuckles: “it's funny that the song is called ‘Think Fast’ considering it's the slowest we've ever written.” Foresta reflects: "All of our songs are so chaotic- songs like this are good to put in the middle of all the speed. It's like an audio palette cleanser."
With more insane and violently colorful artwork by illustrator Andrei Bouzikov (also responsible for the art of Massive Aggressive and The Art Of Partying), adorning the cover of Slime And Punishment, the album holds strong to MUNICIPAL WASTE’s visual style as well. “He's [also] a good friend of the band. After The Art Of Partying a lot of people caught on to him and his artwork. He deserves it. It was really cool to go back to him for this [record]” says Waste.
MUNICIPAL WASTE also just finished up another successful and entirely enjoyable package tour with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and AGNOSTIC FRONT, both of which have toured with MW in the beginning of their career in the early 2000’s. Of course the new album comes permanently attached to a gut wrenching sense of humor: “Vinnie from AGNOSTIC FRONT is actually on the record. He's the one who does that cop skit “Parole Violators” going back and forth with me pretending to be a delinquent, and him a cop. Phil and I came up with the skit- We recorded that one on the tour bus on that latest tour” laughs Waste. "It's sort of like a mock of a dark crime/horror movie" reflects Foresta. "We thought it would be pretty hilarious for Vinnie Stigma to play a police officer." The natural, dark comedy that comes with each member of MUNICIPAL WASTE shapes the band, and is something their fans love and appreciate just as much as their quick, brutal riffs.
With Van’s Warped tour just around the corner, SLIME AND PUNISHMENT is set for release on June 23rd, 2017. Fans can rest assured that they won't have to wait another five years for the next record: “The next album will come out a lot quicker. We're oiling the machine a lot more, now” exclaims Waste. So be on the lookout MUNICIPAL WASTE fans, the future of our society is decrepit and rotting, but for Thrash it's vast!
1 - Breathe Grease
2 - Enjoy The Night
3 - Dingy Situations
4 - Shrednecks
5 - Poison The Preacher
6 - Bourbon Discipline
7 - Parole Violators
8 - Slime And Punishment
9 - Amateur Sketch
10 - Excessive Celebration
11 - Low Tolerance
12 - Under The Waste Command
13 - Death Proof
14 - Think Fast