Review Summary: Listening to this album will cause you to use the word "fu*k" at least twice per sentence, and will also make you to want to start a full-scale riot.
Warning: Disregard the genre classification, because this is certainly not “classic” punk. This is pissed off, fu*k you, fu*k this, let’s riot Thrash-influenced punk.
I was a pretty rebellious whipper-snapper back in my day. Just one look at me and you’d know I stood for total Punk-Rock with my MxPx
shirt, wallet chain, ripped jeans and Chuck Taylor’s. I was lazy, unmotivated, and I thought I was about as hard as they came. I mean, what band could emphasize true Punk better than Sum-41
and the almighty blink-182
It’s too bad that I just now found The Exploited
, because they smack all of those bands around like a rag doll when it comes to lessons of rebellious attitude.
While The Exploited
kicked off their career as an Oi!/punk band, they soon found themselves moving onto more of a streekpunk/hardcore sound. But just as they changed, they evolved again, this time into Crossover Thrash, which is essentially a more punk/hardcore influenced version of Thrash metal. But throughout their years, they’ve never lost that defiant sneer that they possessed from the beginning; in fact, they got even angrier, hostile, and even senile, since some of them are pushing 50. But boy oh boy did they come back on “Fu*k the System
” to teach this new punk scene a thing or two….
“Disorder…Chaos…Anarchy…now that’s fun!
The only thought that will grace your blank mind once “Fu*k the System” gets going is “What…the…Hell did I just get myself into?!” Blending the fast-paced intensity of Punk and the severe hostility from Thrash, “Fu*k the System” is the perfect idea of what you’re going to get from here on out. Straight forward, simple-minded guitars, blazing drums, a thumping (and audible) bass, and a sure-as-Hell freaked out vocalist named Wattie. And that’s what every song virtually is. There is no variation in the songs, tempo, anything. It’s just one big slab of “fu*k you!” crossover Thrash. Every song here is underlined with that critical Punk factor: a hook. The riffs by themselves are so damn plain and simple-noted that alone, you’d quickly be changing CD’s. But throw in that “catchy” factor, and you’ll be hooked like a fish on the line. Songs like “Fu*king Liar”, “Noize Annoys”, and “Violent Society” will be kept fresh in your mind, either from the numbing guitars or the frenzied, chant-along vocals. And don’t just think that because this has been heavily laced with Punk that the Thrash influence is almost non-existent, because it plays just as large as a role. Honestly, this album is like listening to Slayer
with a larger Punk base. It’s blazingly fast, hard-hitting, and it never lets go once it’s got you by the throat. Just listening to tracks like “Chaos is My Life” and “Fu*k the System” will cause severe head-banging and most likely cause you to want to: A) Hurt someone or B) Start some kind of riot. “Was It Me” is really the only change up in the tracks here, since it features some ominous riffing in the beginning before they let go off the throttle and lurch forward.
Once you add Walter ‘Wattie’ Buchan into the mix, all Hell breaks loose. While he doesn’t have the greatest vocal range in the history of music, he sure knows how to shout, and really loudly I might add. Whether he’s being backed up by the gang on “Violent Society” or foaming at the mouth on “Fu*king Liar”, he’s always got something vile to say, usually locked together by the word “fu*k”. You probably should’ve notice already that “fu*k” is The Exploited’s
favorite word just from the song titles, but until you see some of the lyrics, you don’t know anything. When Wattie howls out “You’re a fu*cking bast*rd! (And a sh*t fu*k too!)
”, you’ll know he really loves the word. His lyrics are about as simple as the riffs, but they just seem to fit. I mean, this is Crossover Thrash, and just like in Thrash, who really expects some kind of genius, thought-pondering cryptic lyrics? Everything is about anarchy, rebellion, or is just a big “fu*k off!” About as deep as you get on this album is “It doesn’t really matter what you’ve got to say, They never fu*king listen to you any way!
” on the title track.
I was dumb stricken when I first heard Jamie Buchan shred on his guitar. At first glance, most of these riffs are about as bare as they come, with little to no variation or fills. It’s just straightforward palm-muting for most of this album. But what surprised me is how well he actually incorporated Thrash into his work. For the most part, I’m not a big Crossover fan. I think the genre tends to sound a bit too sloppy, but not from Jamie. When he starts jamming away on “Holiday in the Sun”, you know he was born to do this. And not only that, for a Punk guitarist, he can actually solo really, really well. While he might appear to have taken multiple lessons from Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman from Slayer
on how to solo, it’s still the fact that they actually suit the song. They’re chaotic, out of place, and for the most part, insane. He hangs onto the whammy bar as if his life depended on it, and just hits any note in its path, such as on “There Is No Point”. But even whammy-bar dive-bombing aside, he’s got some skill in what he does.
A clear bass is something that most albums don’t possess, but “Fu*k the System
” sure does. Jim Gray, the bassist, doesn’t really do anything overly exceptional, but he fills in just fine. He gets his shining moments here and there, like the plugging bass intro to “Fu*k the System” and the dual bass guitar/drum combo intro to “Was It Me”. Other than that, he’s really just there, but you can hear him, which gives it an extra “oomph!” And Willie Buchan is yet again another strong drummer. He keeps up with the tempo throughout the whole album, and never misses a beat. And not only that, but some of his fills are unexpectedly great, like when he goes ape on his drum kit on the opener and “Chaos is My Life”.
There is one huge
flaw that this album has, and it’s called “repetition”. I know many might say on that some songs on an album sound alike, but not like here. These songs are all of the same structure and tempo. This could’ve been one big song, and cut up into 12 little ones (minus “Was It Me”). The guitar-work and vocals are pretty much exact throughout, and even more so with the bass and drums. Individually, these songs are great, but as a whole album, it sounds too similar for a full sitting.
Damn. I wish more Punk was as heavy as this, but then again, The Exploited
are certainly different. And while nearly every song is the same, it’s still great fun. Just listen to about 2-3 songs at a time, and this will seem far better than listening to it during one sitting. This is certainly a new experience for me, and other metal heads should do themselves a favor to give this a listen. It’s got as much venom as most Thrash bands out there.
Anarchy? No thanks, but The Exploited
make it seem fun…
Fu*k the System
Chaos is My Life