Electrified Brain

Nuclear Blast
rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Electrified Brain
02. Demoralizer
03. Last Crawl
04. Grave Dive
05. The Bite
06. High Speed Steel
07. Thermonuclear Protection
08. Blood Vessel – Boat Jail
09. Crank the Heat
10. Restless and Wicked
11. Ten Cent Beer Night
12. Barreled Rage
13. Putting On Errors
14. Paranormal Janitor

If anyone is dishing out medals for commitment to the cause, MUNICIPAL WASTE should be near the front of the queue. For the last two decades, the Richmond, VA thrashers have stuck deliriously to their guns, toured anywhere and everywhere, and been widely hailed as a guaranteed good night out as a result. They have been equally effective on record, too. From ferociously snotty 2003 debut "Waste 'Em All" to 2017's noticeably underrated "Slime and Punishment", MUNICIPAL WASTE have always sounded like the fastest and funnest crossover thrash band in (any given) town.

As a result, the only really surprising thing about "Electrified Brain" is that it rattles and rips with the exact same levels of energy and booze-addled aggro that made "The Art of Partying" such an instant classic 15 years ago. It could just be good genes. It could be witchcraft. But something or someone has imbued MUNICIPAL WASTE with the essence of eternal, speed metal life, and it's beautiful to behold. Still proudly rooted in the same classic thrash and crossover influences that first inspired them, Tony Foresta and his high-octane comrades have also conspired to write their strongest set of tunes in a decade or more.

"Electrified Brain" sounds colossal: with the perfect blend of garage grit and big-budget oomph, everything from the opening title track to the spooked-out "Paranormal Janitor" impacts with jaw-juddering power. With regular nods to a more traditional strain of metal to balance out the all-out speed worship (the closing seconds of "Demoralizer" are a pure and glorious tribute to IRON MAIDEN),there are also dynamic peaks and cross-pollinated depths to MUNICIPAL WASTE's seventh full-length album that previous records have only hinted at. From the pulsing OVERKILL crunch of "Last Crawl" and the grazed-knee hardcore of "The Bite", to the blistering, none-more-metal sprint of "High Speed Steel" and the pitch-black gutter-thrash of "Thermonuclear Protection", "Electrified Brain" is a brilliant blend of the expected and the ever-so-slightly unexpected.

What matters most, of course, is that this is well equipped with the same hell-for-leather, celebratory thrash purity that first made MUNICIPAL WASTE so irresistible 20 years ago. As much as their collective experiences have made them increasingly masterful on a creative level, it is also true that nobody else on the planet writes and performs songs as magnificently goofy and uncomplicated as "Ten Cent Beer Night" and "Grave Dive". They may be approaching veteran status, but MUNICIPAL WASTE will still thrash you to within an inch of your life (drummer Dave Witte remains one of the premier percussive badasses of our times) while measurably improving the quality of your day.

Author: Dom Lawson
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