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May 20, 2024

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The Exploited
Fuck The System (Spitfire Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

The record begins with a long, harrowing scream-- and only gets worse from there! Now that's "worse" depending of course on the viewpoint of the listener and their threshold for inner ear pain. The Exploited's music is not for the casual Punk fan. It's for the crusty Street-core veteran-minded difference maker with a few more right wings to burn and audacious asses to kick. After numerous seven inches, studio releases and countless comps to their credit, the eighth new dig in some seven years proves anarchy never goes out of style, it just gets more violent with age. And in an age where discontent still runs rampant as the Reagan-era rage that spawned this "2nd Generation" of UK Punk, the same band that brought us teeth-cutting classics as "Punks Not Dead," "Troops Of Tomorrow," and more recently "Beat The Bastards," slams another fist into the face of idealistic tormentors of the damned and down-trodden. Save for a shaved and dreaded Wattie as the usual center point of commotion, the once-famed Mohawks have gone the way of skins and pins, and the ultra aggressive sound is a riff-ravaged by-product of classic Oi! and Metal thrashing mad. Hard to pick among the thirteen cuts here but if you had to grab three before the cell door slams shut, go with "Fuck The System," "Holiday In The Sun," and-- it's a tough one but "Never Sell Out" reeks of the good ol' "Punks Not Dead" glory days! What's changed since the early '80s round when they first started? Besides the dozen or so peers that came and went, came back, but should've stayed away, The Exploited's remained the benchmark for relevant stick swinging Hardcore abuse-ment. With the exception of a band like Motorhead, they've influenced more of the so-called "Punk" and "Metal" bands than most anyone. Nearly 25 years later, they're still playing it faster, louder, and prouder than ever before! (File next to stuff like Conflict, Sick On The Bus, Discharge, The Business, Agnostic Front, and Propain-- not to mention the worst motherfucking hangover you've ever imagined.)
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