REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Special Edition Albums From Punk Legends The Exploited

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

The biggest explosion of jaw dropping gunfire hardcore punk rock you’ve never had the audacity to hope for!

expMy generation is the one that was just too young to properly catch that whole 1976 UK punk revolution thing and though I can understand the cultural importance it had on that specific era and appreciate the individualism and creativity that grew instinctively and confidently from its encouraging liberation I will never be anything more than a victim of the wrong birth date forever imagining it through the second hand stories and opinions of those who were part of it’s brief but infinite glory. Sadly the sneering anti-establishment battle cries that were once so consequential have been laundered into harmless mainstream domesticity by years of over exposure, dragged from the past to ghost the antithetic generations of today and becoming nothing more than a pantomime of itself for a society that exists in a state of such perpetual disintegration you can buy Sex Pistols t-shirts in Primark, so it’s possibly best to stick with the authentic stories of others rather than looking to the vapid cash guzzling philosophies of high street commercialism to fill in your blanks. Second generation British punk rock was ’our’ 1976, The Exploited were ‘our’ Sex Pistols and their debut album ‘Punks Not Dead’ our ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’. Not only one of the biggest bands but quite possibly the main instigators of that entire second generation and, in Wattie Buchan, they have, undoubtedly, its most recognised front man. The line-up may have changed far more times than they’d have liked but what hasn’t changed are the ethics and the honesty that first booted them into action. Whether it be a small venue gig or festival headlining slot you still get what you got the first time you saw them play and with just as much aggression and commitment. Their legacy has been built upon ferocious, anti-establishment frustrations and the dole queue politics of disaffected youth. Unsophisticated and straight-to-the-point The Exploited have always delivered a more urgent and believable message than their first generation comrades - simply because they themselves have lived the very life their lyrics narrate. The art/punk style and far fetched rhetoric of Matlock and Rotten’s compositions are a million miles from the clearer and more relevant style of The Exploited for getting the message across without poncing around it. Their debut may not, to most, emulate the legacy of the Pistols in terms of musicianship and initial effect…..But their significance? That can never be doubted.
THE MASSACRE You can literally hear the birth of the next stage of hostility emerging from the fracas of this, their sixth studio album. First released in 1990 it’s here that the heavier sounding hardcore Exploited of today can first be heard. The thundering drumbeats and powerhouse guitar riffs and solos are far more of an obvious force here than on previous albums (though some consider Death Before Dishonour the greater) and Wattie Buchan’s volleying vocal delivery crashes through the brick-wall of noise with steel edged dominance and muscular defiance. This is thrash metal influenced punk rock - and not only is it that - but it remains one of the best first examples of what such specific genre-chiselling could spawn. The subject matter hasn’t changed, and why should it? But there’s extra venom to the acid tongued havoc - especially on the brilliant ‘Police Shit’ (
lying bastards, police shit) the provoking working class anti-establishment hymn ‘Don’t Pay The Poll Tax’, slower paced masterpiece ‘Blown Out Of The Sky’ and the incendiary missile ’Fuck Religion’ The less political but possibly more relevant (for most) ‘Porno Slut’ and the fired up outrage of ‘Sick Bastard’ are further stand-out tracks on what proved to be the start of a new chapter in the bands history.
BEAT THE BASTARDS The thrash metal/punk rock crossover first introduced on The Massacre has been superbly refined on the follow up album Beat The Bastards which was released, following a 6 year gap, in 1996 This was their 7th studio album and is widely considered one of the best second generation British punk albums ever made. This is The Exploited at the very peak of their career and at the top of their game - a clear and precise representation of a genre by the band who have so obviously mastered it and, on this evidence, made it exclusively theirs. It’s a step-up in creativity, an update in sound, that many others failed and still fail to match. The brawling antipathy bristles with the combined force of punks aggression and metal’s heaviness - every song a backbiting serenade of grievance and non-acceptance to be forever the soundtrack that signifies the working classes answering back. The intimidation is everywhere, beginning with the title tracks opening sea of sampled dialogue that culminates in a menacing
‘Who the fuck are
you?’, triggering the brutally powered song to explode into life it’s rallying defiance immediately revealed in the first verse ‘
slaves to the system there’s no way out, slaves to the system do
you have a shout, you’ve got to beat the bastards, beat them now, sick of policies putting me down’ he howls, with enraged resentment from within the fast-paced thrash-fuelled masterpiece. The equally paced ‘Affected By Them’ , ‘Law For The Rich’ (with it’s
I know the law you bastards, Clockwork Orange sampling) the riff laden guitar tune ‘Fightback’ and the energetic finger pointing ‘They Lie’ ‘
hospital trusts, more Tory fuck ups…lie
lie lie lie, they lie to you’ The musicianship of The Exploited is remarkably accomplished throughout this entire album and is especially so in the towering leadership and confident injection of the guitar and the forceful beat providing excellence the drumming delivers, a service that’s brilliantly displayed on ‘If You’re Sad’ and ‘Serial Killer’. The album that suddenly convinces you The Exploited are a little bit special.
FUCK THE SYSTEM Released in 2003 and currently the last of their studio albums to date Fuck The System is a raging ‘fuck you’ inferno of anger and hatred fuelled by some of the most deeply personal lyrics Wattie Buchan has ever penned. The scathing ’Fucking Liar’ is a tirade of wounded abuse from the cheated to the cheater ‘
you told me he was just a
friend but now I know the fucking score’….you’re just a fucking liar’ he roars from the frantic paced war zone before hurling the boot into the same, or another, protagonist with the confidence shredding ‘You’re A Fucking Bastard’ by simply repeating the line ‘
you’re a fucking bastard and a shit fuck too’ with mocking viciousness, for the entire song. The atmospheric drum opening that eventually explodes into the pleading tirade of ‘Was It Me?’ (
you never told me what we fell out about….was it me? Was it me?) he continually sings above wailing guitars and marching drums. A collection of their most meaningful and catchy compositions from the aforementioned songs to the bouncing ‘Never Sell Out’ , the riotous ‘Chaos Is My Life’ and fast-off-the-blocks ‘Holiday In The Sun’. Worldwide popularity isn't something that can be gained through luck or default - you need to achieve it, sustain it, prove it and show it. The Exploited have achieved, sustained, proved and shown their right to have it. You don't even need to look to this trio of albums for confirmation of that...but it's a great place to start!
Everyone here at Subba Cultcha would like to take this opportunity to wish Wattie a fast and full recovery and we hope to see him back in the places he belongs very soon.