Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Fatal Feast - Municipal Waste - 2012

The Fatal Feast was an easy purchase for me but not one for which I had particularly been clamoring. To be honest, it was the cover art by Justin Osbourn combined with the "Waste in Space" sequel theme that put it into my cart while I probably should have given precedence to the new Kreator or all this Sodom backcatalogue material I keep meaning to collect. Maybe it's the sunshine, maybe it's the Possessor in the stereo or the D.R.I., S.O.D., M.O.D. or any other similar three-lettered crossover sets I seem to dust off as soon as I can drive with the windows down. No matter what, The Fatal Feast may not have been a record I thought I needed but, regardless, it's one I'm glad to have.

I never put a lot of thought into the trajectory of Municipal Waste as, frankly, they were never a band I put a lot of thought into, period. There appears to be some half-hearted debate going on about their status as a "party band" and whether that was deviated from with Massive Aggressive and subsequently relapsed into - some say with no progression in quality - with The Fatal Feast. I say, "who the hell is putting this much effort into analysis of the band who gave us 'Abusement Park,' 'Lunch Hall Food Brawl' and 'Horny for Blood?'"

If there's any real disappointment to be found in The Fatal Feast it's that the interstellar theme associated with sequels waiting only to go next to "the 'hood" explicitly exists only in the artwork and its title track, easily the best number on the record. Otherwise, all the hallmarks are firmly in place and I don't think it's necessarily an insult to say the band's fifth record is pretty much interchangeable with anything that's come before (at least from what I've heard). The consistency between records exists in the microcosm between songs and the album plays like a loud, 37-minute party, never really varying noticeably until "The Fatal Feast" kicks in - and gloriously so - 13 tracks into the 16-track record. This is not a band I can pretend to have analyzed in any depth but, musically, The Fatal Feast is right-on, from a boatload of trademark thrash chords and riffs to unflagging drums to a stellar bass tone and vocals that could serve as an exemplar for the genre. It rocks tirelessly but, admittedly, too rarely hooks. That said, it's easy to enjoy and sounds better the louder its played. It feels like too much to expect any more from a band whose better material arrives in the form of "Covered in Sick/The Barfer" but, like my previous underappreciation for Overkill, it's a good enough record that I'm going to dig up a little more Municipal Waste. After all, it looks like we're in for a long, hot summer and these car windows will be down for days.

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