Municipal Waste – Slime and Punishment (Nuclear Blast)

Tuesday, 6th June 2017
Rating: 7/10

Municipal Waste and Tankard have the same problem: Both aren’t allowed to be serious. For Tankard, their otherwise brilliant invention of “alcohol metal” has enabled them a steady and long career, but their attempts at personal and/or “regular” lyrical topics leaves their fanbase cold. The same goes for Municipal Waste, who on 2012’s The Fatal Feast, attempted at least some minor inroads at shedding their “party metal” image. Unfortunately, it never quite took off, with their image as beer-loving crossover maniacs still very much intact, this, after five years and a multitude of side-projects. (One could argue sister band Iron Reagan more than fulfills the “serious” void.) Slime and Punishment simply reaffirms Municipal Waste’s place and standing, nothing else.

The addition of lead guitarist Nick Poulos has only mildly altered the band’s sound. There’s still an abundance of crossed-up punk-on-metal riffing, going over chord progressions that frankly, feel somewhat rehashed. Then again, Municipal Waste, or rather, guitarist Ryan Waste, have never been ones to stray from their sonic template. It’s more of the same here, including Tony Foresta’s always-spirited bark, holding serve on the quick and punchy “Dingy Situations,” “Parole Violators” and upward and mobile title track. But outwardly, Slime and Punishment blends too easily into the Waste tapestry, even with Poulos adding the occasional lead. And sure enough, the album doesn’t even break the 30-minute mark.

It’s not even worth debating who is the leading crossover band. Municipal Waste earned that distinction after The Art of Partying. However, for an album that took five years to make, divided up by all sorts of high-rung tours, accolades and successful side-projects, you’d almost wish for something else from Municipal Waste. We’ll put it this way: It’s like going to the same party and getting Natural Ice when it would be refreshing to have some Budweiser for once.

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