The first Municipal Waste full-length is an anomaly that is far removed from what comes to mind when hearing them. I thought it was worth going back and re-examining this due to my disappointment with The Last Rager. A young Tony Foresta on Waste ‘Em All displays a totally different attitude. Although they hold the status of being crossover legends, there were far more abrasive roots that I can find traces of Cryptic Slaughter and other acts that leaned on punchier digs.
That said, this is only seventeen minutes long and still consists of fifteen songs, many of them coming in under a minute long. The hardcore side of this style is embraced far more here, and not just vocally. The slower, bouncier passages contrast the blitzing riffs that are present, helping the band follow the punkier bloodline. “Substitute Creature” almost sounds like it could be an amped-up Black Flag tune. The vocals hone in that Henry Rollins-styled snarl, and every rhythm has a similar barbaric nature. “Death Prank” is the perfect 11-second lead up into this.
Of course, they still had the thrash aesthetic, which should be easy to pick up in “Drunk As Shit.” “Thrash?! Don’t Mind If I Do” capitalizes on the metal riffing more, which is presented with a transitional “I Want To Kill The President.” Clearly, the band showed political interest just from this alone. But the last point that really helps Waste ‘Em All stand apart is that it’s the closest the band ever came to fitting in with the power violence genre, save for maybe the self-titled EP. The title track depicts this incredibly.
Really, Waste ‘Em All is a center-packed disc. All the most extreme moments reside closer to the middle, which helps the songs act in a rising and falling sequence. Is this their best work? Certainly not, but it stands out more than some other discs the band has dropped, and I think it has escaped the spotlight over time. If you’re a fan that hasn’t dove into the earlier works of Municipal Waste yet, then I suggest doing so.