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Nice word play, ey? Well, there are two things I wanted to illustrate with that brilliant headline of mine, namely the similarities between "Fuck The System", "Beat The Bastards" and "The Massacre" and that "Fuck The System" is a masterpiece just like "Beat The Bastards".
In 1990, when basically everybody had written The Exploited off, or at least nobody was really expecting anything mind blowing from them, they released the furious "The Massacre". Another six years went by until they released what is now often considered the best metallic Hardcore album of all time: "Beat The Bastards". In 2003, "Fuck The System" finally combined the best of its two predecessors, i.e. it possessed the heaviness of "Beat The Bastards" and even surpassed the relentlessness of "The Massacre" (both also due to the fantastic "Beat The Bastards"-like production).
"Fuck The System" starts and ends with the two "long tracks" of the album, the title track and "Was It Me". In between The Exploited are blasting through eleven raging songs in 25 minutes! Apart from the already mentioned closer "Was It Me" this album contains only two more mid-tempo tracks, namely the equally anthemic "Never Sell Out" and "You're A Fucking Bastard".
The rest is basically just a barrage of violent Hardcore ("Fucking Liar", "Chaos Is My Life", "Violent Society" or the "Massacre"-like "Noize Annoys"). And even if there is a short break to be found now and then ("Holiday In The Sun", "Lie To Me", "I Never Changed", "Why Are You Doing This To Me"), it only adds to the intensity of this album.
"Fuck The System" combines the best of its predecessors, i.e. the heaviness of the classic "Beat The Bastards" and the relentlessness of "The Massacre" (Wattie even went back to his singing style from that album, which makes it sound even more pissed), which make it one of the best Exploited album and (consequently) one of the best Hardcore albums of all time.
I had high expectations for this album, as I love "Beat the Bastards" and expected more of the same from this English four-piece. For the uninitiated, The Exploited used to be a noisy English punk band but over the years changed their style to a pretty damn interesting mix of punk lyrics and choruses and speed metal. "BTB" seemed a perfect combination of the two, and while the lyrics were a little simplistic the songs had such drive to them that it made up for some repetition.
Unfortunately, some of that drive appears to have been lost here. The guys are getting a little older, and the vocal performance by Wattie just sounds strained. While on "BTB" his voice was harsh and urgent, "Fuck the System'"'s vox all seemed distorted, and not necessarily in a good way. While the instruments sound sharp, the repetitive song structures go above and beyond their limits here, annoying the listener with long sections of the same riff, and riffs that sound the same from song to song. Also, the drumming appears a bit less rhytmic, something that was a big plus for "BTB."
That being said, there are still a few good songs on here, most notably the opener "Fuck the System" which starts with a hair-raising sample of someone screaming. "Holiday in the Sun," a nod to the Sex Pistols I assume, is pretty fast paced and memorable as welll/ "You're A Fucking Bastard" sticks in your heard partially for having some of the silliest lyrics writable and for possessing that rhythmic quality in the breakdown that propelled the prior album. "Was It Me" is another good one to close the album out, featuring some very personal lyrics and an awesome, singalong chorus.
So if the idea of mixing punk with speed metal sounds good to you, and you have yet to pick up any Exploited albums but want to see what all the patches are about (ha), I instead recommend starting with "Beat the Bastards." Only diehard fans of this band will want to pick up "FTS."