By all accounts, some consider Urban Waste to be a bit of an influential band in the whole NYHC arena despite them only actually releasing one 7” back in 1982. Apparently, one of those influenced by this band is Roger Miret of Agnostic Front, so someone with some gravitas is amongst that number.
Urban Waste’s stay on the scene was short-lived, but in recent years the band reunited with original members plus one new recruit. They swore off recording a proper LP, but after playing a few gigs gave it a second thought. Recycled features both material written by the band back in their heyday and newer songs from this era to highlight what the band are all about in one neat package.
Urban Waste has quite a classic 1980s hardcore sound despite this being recorded almost 30 years on. There are the obligatory metallic tinges to the guitar work with fast-paced—and at times thrashy—drumming to keep things moving along at a fair pace. To be honest, despite the improvements in production standards/etc. that have taken place over the intervening years, and which have been applied to this recording, the whole feel of this album does take me back to that time in my life when, although I wasn't exactly a devotee of or expert on NYHC, there was some that was quite enjoyable.
Lyrically, some of the songs clearly are from the 1980s, and although the liner notes identifies which are older songs and which are the newer ones, it’s quite a good game to try and figure it out yourself on the first couple of listens. It’s fairly obvious and basic fare with lyrical targets such as the rich, cops, military, etc., but some of these are still relevant today so that’s not a bad thing.
The older songs are quite interesting in that they can be split into two camps: decent 1980s NYHC on one hand (“Military Abuse”) and clumsy, ham-fisted tracks (“Debation”) on the other. The newer songs also have the ability to be separated in quality, but there’s less of the awkwardness as displayed from some of the earlier material.
This is not breaking any new ground and may not initially be on the radar of anyone who doesn't have an interest in the NYHC scene, but it’s actually quite a fun record in places and I am enjoying listening to it despite its occasional shortcomings.