"Hazardous Mutation"


01. Intro/Death Ripper
02. Unleash the Bastards
03. The Thing
04. Blood Drive
05. Accelerated Vision
06. Sample
07. Guilty of Being Tight
08. The Thrashin' of the Christ
09. Hazardous Mutation
10. Nailed Casket
11. Abusement Park
12. Black Ice
13. Mind Eraser
14. Terror Shark
15. Set to Destruct
16. Bang Over

RATING: 8/10

It sounds to me like four young dudes got into their older brothers' record collections and discovered the raucous music of crossover bands like D.R.I. and full-on thrashers like EXODUS and NUCLEAR ASSAULT, then decided to take matters into their own hands. "Hazardous Mutation", by Richmond, Virginia's MUNICIPAL WASTE, is a direct descendent of the work of those seminal bands. This is the real deal, folks. My surprise that an album like "Hazardous Mutation" is being released in 2005 is only surpassed by my amazement at the quality of the material. Here's a rare case when the content of a label's press release is not hyperbole. In addition to the aforementioned bands, references to early C.O.C. and SUICIDAL TENDENCIES are accurate. MUNICIPAL WASTE has taken an established style and done it supreme justice. Even the cover reeks of vintage 80s metal, thanks to artist Ed Repka (MEGADETH).

Most of these 16 tracks clock in at one or two minutes (some slightly longer, some slightly shorter) and every second of speed, aggression, and riotous fun is to be savored. The frenetic pace so characteristic of the genre is kept the entire way, the delivery tight, yet not without the feeling of spontaneity. GWAR's Corey Smoot (Flattus) was responsible for recording the craziness. Buzz-saw riffs, Dave Witte's (BURNT BY THE SUN) breakneck drumming, and speedy bass lines create images of the house that you and your beer-bong buddies proceeded to trash when the neighbor kid's parents left for the weekend.

Humor is doled out liberally, as evidenced by song titles like "Guilty of Being Tight", a clever play on MINOR THREAT's classic "Guilty of Being White". Coming in a close second in the guffaw race is "The Thrashin' of the Christ". Whether it's "Abusement Park" or "Unleash the Bastards", it's a good bet that the boys aren't singing the praises of the straightedge lifestyle or voicing concerns over U.S. foreign policy.

Call it crossover, call it thrash, or call it drunken mosh music, MUNICIPAL WASTE is here to tell the stoic tech-heads to stop being so goddamn serious and the old schoolers to dust off those old D.R.I. albums and join the fun. Whiplash never felt so good.


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