Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
The Musical Style of Municipal Waste & the Album "The Art of Partying"
Municipal Waste is a thrash metal band from the state of Virginia that is described by some fans as party style thrash and that description only tells part of the story. The band’s albums are usually those that last just over 30 minutes or a little less than that in some cases and the vocals are not exactly hardcore in style but imagine a combination of Mike Muir and Tommy Victor and that’s what you hear from this band.
Note: we are returning to listening to this album after two listens of the band’s 2003 debut album called Waste ‘Em All and let’s see how this album turns out this time.
Their 2007 studio album called “The Art of Partying” might as well be party style thrash metal because “The Art of Partying” the song especially is about doing a full scale amount of partying but the lyrics can get cheesy at times though.
The Art of Partying: Songs Pre-Game & The Art of Partying
It seems to me that the album is passable thrash metal but not exciting enough to wow the listener. The album’s tone is based on excess speed and the vocals bring to mind frustrations that are expressed about society in general and the result is thrash metal that is fast with angry vocals. Though there is some melody in this album, it does not beat bands such as Denver Colorado’s Havok for instance. From the start of this album, an experienced listener could detect that there is something really wrong here. The 40 second track which is too short to even be considered a song is called “Pre-Game” a heavy, thrash filled 40 second piece and I am baffled. What in the world is going on here? “The Art of Partying” the song is an attempt by this band to sound like a bunch of tough dudes but if they were trying to sound as strong as Slayer, they have not succeeded. In addition to this, I get the sense that Virginia’s Municipal Waste was trying to copy Metallica with lyrics such as “there’s thrashing all around.” Is this album’s music an art form? Far from it! I will give at least some credit to the title track for having a pretty good bass line.Upon more listening to this title track it is actually one of the decent stronger songs in the album so all is not lost here. As experienced listeners know, one good song does not make an album great so there has to be more moments of quality.
Even the Song Titles in The Art of Partying Are Cheesy
The song titles continue to get even cheesier with titles such as Headbanger Face Rip. The first few listens would feel like this band and album is impressive for US thrash metal in the 2000’s but as the more experienced listener you become, you can see that this is short, generic, crossover thrash that does not really have that wow factor.
Even the title track “The Art of Partying” with the catchy bass line and riffing is not quite an excellent song but good enough.
A.D.D. is a song that tries to describe attention deficit disorder but the relentless shouting dominates this song. The Inebriator is a song that describes the super hard partying and drinking lifestyle and although the beginning riff is decent, the song just settles into an average short thrash song. In order for thrash metal to be an art form, there has to be substance, more than just harsh shouting and speed but this album does not have enough hooks in it or does it? Lunch Hall Food Brawl is a song title that makes me become stunned at how cheesy a band can go in order to come up with song titles. Is this a song talking about food fights? There is a small section of the song that is decent but so far there is no really good moment in the album yet. The next song Beer Pressure lyrically is a bad attempt to sound like the German thrash band Tankard. I am sorry but there is no way in heck that Municipal Waste can even compare to any of Germany’s thrash metal kings.
In spite of this deficiency, the Iron Maiden style melody in the song makes up for the lyrical deficiency.
"The Art of Partying"
The Art of Partying Con #2: Same Song Structure
Every single song on The Art of Partying feels like it has the same predictable structure of starting off with speed and incessant shouting. Music is an art form it is expressed properly and when it has some structure to it. For those of you that think that Metallica’s St. Anger is a bad album, The Art of Partying is a worse album. This article is not meant to compare Municipal Waste to Metallica but there are far worse heavy metal albums than St. Anger.
Final Thoughts About the Album The Art of Partying
Chemically Altered is an attempt by Municipal Waste in the beginning to sound like the song called Motorbreath. The song is a decent and passable song but the lyrics in it make you want to cringe.
What felt like a generic thrash metal album worse than Pantera’s Far Beyond Driven has turned into a pretty good hardcore thrash metal album from the band Municipal Waste!
That being said, we are now in August 2019 and I am analyzing this album once again. Has it gotten better with time or is it still the same musically? Or has the album sounded worse since then?
Final Rating for the album "The Art of Partying:" (C+)
The reason for the grade for this album is because although it is a decent hardcore thrash metal album with not much profanity, the songs are not quite as elite as several other thrash metal bands but even so, this album has the potential to grow on the music listener. The strongest songs in "The Art of Partying" include:
- "The Art of Partying"
- Beer Pressure
- Chemically Altered
- Lunch Hall Food Brawl
"Lunch Hall Food Brawl"
Rate the Album The Art of Partying by the Band Municipal Waste
© 2018 Ara Vahanian