Municipal Waste @ Gramercy Theatre (12/9/2009)

Logo - Municipal Waste

Artist: Municipal Waste
Venue: Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY)
Opener: Cauldron, Brutal Truth, Phobia
Date: 12/9/2009
Label: Earache Records

Every once in awhile you find yourself hitting a show that while you don’t have the most background on you in terms of the gamut of talented bands, you end up going just the same in hope that you can offer up your take and observe the scene that surrounds the bands that are performing effectively. Such was the case for me with the Municipal Waste show this evening for while a number of my friends have been extolling this bands virtues and discussing their live shows, they were a band that I had not gotten around to enjoying in concert yet myself. The interesting thing was how the whole night would be pretty much of a mystery for me with the exception of the very first band on who would be Cauldron. I knew some of their stuff and remembered one of their members being a part of a band that went away too soon by the name of Goat Horn. The show would also feature Brutal Truth and Phobia and here is how it went.

Cauldron: As I said I had some level of familiarity with the music of Cauldron and considering it was more of a NWOBHM type of sound, found them a little out of place on a show like this one. The headliners were more of a New Wave of Hardcore group while both Phobia and Brutal Truth were Grind Core bands. Former of Goat Horn we had Jason Decay on bass and vocals and the stuff is along the same lines of that band and quite good if the classic sound is what you are seeking. Signed to Earache Records, the band has recently released their debut album “Chained To The Nite”. The band is rounded out by Ian Chains (guitar) and Chris Rites (drums, and also former of Goat Horn). They were a lot of fun this evening but there were hardly any fans in the venue yet which was a shame because they were missing a good time. The Toronto natives sent a shout out to Robb Reiner from Anvil which made many people think he was in the room and said how “Dreams Die Young” before delivering that number. He dedicated the set to those who like to drink beer and make noise on the weekends and was generally a very lively character up there. After their set concluded I caught up with Decay and asked was the drummer of Anvil actually around and he said no they were just being obnoxious since they were from Canada as well. Amusing to say the least and I wish this new band the best as it was a great set. Now it was onto the Grind core styling of Phobia.

Phobia: These guys would be the first of the mysteries this evening and despite my being in the dark on them they have been around since 1990 and blend Grind core into something called Crust Punk. I had to look that one up and found it to be Punk that uses a lot of Hardcore elements and also focuses heavily on the socio-Political side when it comes to their lyrics. They were intense I had to admit and really changed the mood of the evening from the conventional style we just enjoyed from Cauldron to a more extreme and aggressive frame of mind. If you liked this kind of stuff I would definitely have to say that they bear looking into if you are not yet aware of them because they just delivered a crushing 30-40 minutes of Grind core that was unrelenting on the fans that were starting to mix things up at this point. Their latest release is “22 Random Acts Of Violence” and comes care of Willowtip/Deepix Records. Now it was time for Brutal Truth.

Brutal Truth: The Extreme Hardcore vibe mixed with Metal was never my thing and when a friend that I see again and again at numerous Metal shows informed me about how to classify Brutal Truth I realized why I had never looked into them before tonight. He said think of them as an Americanized version of Napalm Death and since that band was never really one of my favorites I accepted his analysis. Don’t get me wrong because while I recognize Napalm as leaders in the Grind core field, I never was a big follower of it being more of a Power Metal guy at the time that they first hit the scene. So Brutal Truth is a group formed by Dan Lilker who originally was a member of Nuclear Assault and the Stormtroopers Of Death and Grind core do they play with intent and firm stance. This was a no-nonsense aural assault and had the now filled room moshing with abandon. The group is fronted by Kevin Sharp and actually remains at three of its original members from their formative years. The band did break up in 1999 but decided to regroup in 2006 and have released their latest music entitled “Evolution Through Revolution” on Relapse Records. To say that the set list was incredible stocked would be an understatement as their appeared to be almost twenty numbers delivered to the fans. I had to say that I liked how they did their thing and as an ingénue to this genre was able to enjoy it rather easily. I can see why they are recognized as important for their scene and would likely be a group I catch again should I see their name on the marquee. Now it was time for the main attraction, the one and only Municipal Waste.

Municipal Waste: Labeled as a Crossover Thrash band I really felt that when Municipal Waste hit the stage that I was watching something akin to a modern day Hardcore band based on the manner in which they delivered their set. The Gramercy Theatre was now packed and I had to admit that this surprised me a little since I was not expecting this at all. Yes the band is known and has a following, but so did all of the other bands that I caught in this very same space and many of them performed to meager crowds at best. The guys in Waste are signed to Earache Records and have released “Massive Aggressive” back in August of this same year and despite having a new recording to promote would make sure that their set list this evening featured a little bit of everything from the three albums that preceded it. Theirs was a dangerous set without question as the already lively audience came to a bigger and more insane life. The barrier between the stage and security was shaky but in place and the bodies were flying over it as if someone was picking through the crowd and tossing random people into the air. The general area of the floor seemed to be the most dangerous space in the venue and only the extreme outskirts of it that reached the two side bars appeared to be sound refuge for any who were seeking it. If you moved anywhere else down in that melee you were taking your risks on getting out of the whirlwind in one piece. Fortunately there were plenty of seats above us to document the insanity with a little bit of breathing room. The venue had appeared to sell out this evening but almost everyone who came in was intent on being a part of the craziness and I had to say that this was impressive to witness. It’s been awhile since I have seen a band spark this much focused energy in their crowd’s mindset and through it all the Waste just kept tossing tune after tune out and not giving anyone a chance to slow down. The group is fronted by Tony Foresta and hails from Richmond, VA and yet I felt a strong connection to the glory days of NYHC in every note that they played. Nice work guys. Tony did speak to the crowd on a couple of occasions and one was towards the end when he said what should be played next. He mused about how they had a lot of tunes to play and this was because most songs were only a minute and a half in length.

It’s clear to me that these guys will likely go down in this genre’s history as being one of the most effective at the format and with the reception they got from their fans it is only a matter of time before bigger venues and larger scale touring opportunities are presented to them. If you love Thrash with a complete infusion of traditional Hardcore in its genetic core then you must check out a Municipal Waste show. Just be sure to have zippered pockets and nothing all that valuable that you don’t want broken should you find that you are enticed into the circle pit with the rest of the Metal maniacs. Take that as sound advice because like the G.I. Joe cartoons said, “Knowing is half the battle” and this show was most certainly a battleground in the end.

Brutal Truth Set List:
1. Sugar Daddy
2. Daydream
3. Dementia
4. Kap
5. Vision
6. Only The Hunt
7. Fist In Mouth
8. Therapist
9. Godplayer
10. Turnface
11. Choice
12. –
13. Smack Dog
13. Global Good
14. Birk
15. Stench
16. Time
17. Corpse
18. Collateral

Municipal Waste Set List:
1. Intro
2. Unleash The Bastards
3. Thrashing’s My Business and Business Is Good
4. Divine Blasphemer
5. Beer Pressure
6. Mental Shock
7. Horny For Blood
8. Accelerated Vision
9. Wrong Answer
10. Terror Shark
11. Masked By Delirium
12. Bass Solo
13. Sadistic Magician
14. The Thrashin’ Of The Christ
15. Mutants Of War
16. Toxic Revolution
17. Black Ice
18. Kill The President
19. Acid Sentence
20. Born 2 Party
21. Guilty Of Being Tight
22. Open Your Mind
23. Headbanger Face Rip

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