Monday, November 26, 2012

Municipal Waste & Napalm Death @ The House of Blues, Hollywood. 11/14/12.

"Napalm Death! Napalm DEEEEEEEEEEATH!" I'll never forget those words. It was my first time seeing Napalm Death back in 2004. They were touring with Cannibal Corpse (my first time seeing them also) and playing the same House of Blues. I had already been to my fair share of shows before...then Napalm Death came out. This tiny Mexican dude in a ratty leather jacket and gloves, who looked and smelled like a drunken Oz retiree, spent the whole night screaming "Napaaalm Deeeeeeeeeeeath!" during the opening acts. When Napalm came out, the floor exploded with energy and this same dude who could barely stand earlier sprung to life and moshed his drunken heart out. He spent the rest of the night calling for songs they already played ("The Kiiiiiill!") and booked it as soon as Cannibal Corpse started playing because he realized that they, were no Napalm Death.

That's the Napalm Death effect. They are so rad live they make other awesome bands look like shit by comparison. They are, Napaaaalm DEEEEEEEEEEATH!

So, on to the show. We arrived early, but due to a unexpected lineup switch, we missed Exhumed. Same thing happened last time I was supposed to see them at Summer Slaughter. Bummer. I guess they swapped places with punk rock icons The Dwarves and went on earlier expected. The Dwarves were cool though. I forgot that Nick Oliveri (ex-Queens of the Stone Age/Kyuss) is their bass player so it was a nice surprise watching him onstage again.

During the Dwarves set, Barney from Napalm was chillin' by the bar, swamped by a handful of lovely ladies, watching their set and being cool as fuck. Taking pictures and chatting with fans, he was a totally polite and friendly dude. Then he went on stage and transformed into the rabid bulldog from hell vocalist we all know and love. Seriously, Barney Greenway has one of the gnarliest and distinctive voices in metal.
Napalm Death came out and laid waste to the joint. They played a lot of material off their new album Utilitarian which was to be expected. Even though I have some issues with the album's production, the songs were awesome live. "Everyday Pox," and Errors in the Signal" fit right alongside classics like "Suffer the Children" and "Human Garbage." Barney's kooky stage moves never get old, like he's dancing and exercising demons at the same time, and Mitch has some of the sickest backing vocals (those high screams of his pierce through everything in the audio mix) around. Danny's single foot blasts sounded a little sloppy at times, but who am I to talk shit? The dude's been blasting since I was in kindergarten! Also, Shane has the filthiest bass sound in history. That's a good thing though. "Napaaaaalm DEEEEEEATH!"

Municipal Waste had the arduous task of following Napalm onstage. Luckily, the Waste are a ridiculously fun live band and were able to hold their own against the British grind legends who preceded them. That was a bold move on Waste's part, taking a band like Napalm out on the road who are famous for stealing other band's thunder. I'm guessing it forced them to be firing on all cylinders every night. Municipal Waste might have been the headliner's of the evening but they played to a slightly smaller crowd than Napalm. It was a weeknight and a lot of the older grind fiends probably had work the next day and took off early. No matter, the Waste still had a legion of fans inside, the young ones with energy for days and love stage know. Tony's voice sounded a little hoarse when he talked in between songs but his vocals sounded fine, i.e., like a dude screaming his balls off after drinking a lot of red bull. Ryan and Phil hammed it up for the audience to everyone's delight as Dave "coolest drummer alive" Witte chilled behind the drum kit. Seriously, Dave was so relaxed playing drums all night, making Municipal Waste's thrash metal tunes look like child's play. I haven't heard their latest album but I couldn't help but lose it when they played the jams from The Art of Partying.  My favorite Waste album period. Also, kudos to the House of Blues security staff, for catching the army of crowd surfers during Municipal Wastes set. Really, that's a lot of sweaty dudes they put up with that night.

Born To Party


  1. NAPAAAAAALLLMMMM DEAAAAAAAAAAATHHHHH. I've never actually heard them but you have to appreciate someone who can make people come alive.

  2. These bands are so hardcore Jim, I can understand why you'd have an absolute blast and these kinds of shows, sounds like a hell of a lot of fun to me anyway, even if the names imply pain and suffering!

  3. I want to go to a Napalm Death show now. I don't know what they sound like. It seems the band takes other bands' thunder on blog posts too.. that's impressive.