Review Summary: Visceral and repugnant in the best way.
Self-awareness seems to be an inconsistent and rare quality in metal today. Ironically, the cringiest acts are the ones who are actively poking fun at the genre's tropes by embracing and amplifying the most tongue-in-cheek aspects. Municipal Waste are masters of this cheeky dance; the album art should have told you that much. Their brand of thrash has been distilled to the bare essentials. Energetic vocals that seem physically painful to replicate, galloping riffs with the occasional dive-bomb and cymbal crashing dissonance are the key ingredients of Electrified Brain. What a shocker, right? So, should you discount it entirely? I don't see why you would. Sure, this album isn't carrying thrash metal to new horizons, and the ceiling for stupid fun is remarkably low. With that being said, few things capture the metal spirit quite like a six-pack, a bloody nose from karate in the pit, and cheesy group choruses. If that is what you are looking for, you will find it here in spades.
Thrash Metal is easily identifiable despite there being various distinctive takes on the thrash sound. You have the cosmic and progressive sound from bands like Vektor and Cryptosis, the groove-ladden rhythms by Pantera, Sodom, and Exhorder, and then you have the thrash bands that proudly push their punk rock influences to the forefront. Municipal Waste falls neatly within the last camp. At 34 minutes, Electrified Brain is a lean energetic ripper structured like a hardcore record on copious amounts of amphetamines.
The humor on this record is juvenile and may be hard to connect with depending upon where you are in your life when you listen to it. If you are wondering what I mean, give a listen to the fifth track, The Bite. Yeah, for some reason, Eric Cartman-style vocals made it through the final cut. To say this was a questionable choice would be an understatement, but isn't exactly shocking if you're familiar with the band's work.
Ultimately, if the playing is up to par, we could look over most faults regarding a silly thrash record. So, is the musical prowess displayed here something to scoff at? Hardly. I would say the band sounds pretty tight. The eighth track, Blood Vessel/Boat Jail (no idea what that means), mixes some NWOBHM lead work with that energetic hardcore/crossover influence and has some intriguing twists and turns. Crank The Heat is an anthemic banger from hell that flexes the band's ability to play with tempo to keep your blood pumping. Electrified Brain is mindless fun that is catchy and captivating. In short, it's a solid addition to their discography and will give you that classic mischievous fix that every thrash fan craves.