The Exploited: Reissues

True punk veterans’ sharpest works revisited

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Given how much feeble-minded boy-band twaddle gets released in the name of punk rock these days, Edinburgh’s kings of spittle-spraying street punk now seem a more vital and necessary presence than ever before and these reissues could hardly be timelier.

Originally released in 1990, The Massacre [8] is the great unsung gem in the Exploited catalogue, the seething surge of Sick Bastard and Fuck Religion equalling the deranged fury of the band’s classic early singles.

Beat The Bastards [8] from 1996 saw Wattie Buchan and co embrace a more metallic outlook with monstrous results, not least on the savage riffs and bug-eyed sloganeering of System Fucked Up and Police TV.

Fuck The System [9] is the finest of the lot, however, and easily the punk legends’ greatest work since the immortal Troops Of Tomorrow. Produced by the ever-brilliant Russ Russell, songs like Fucking Liar, Never Sell Out and Chaos Is My Life punch as hard as any modern metal record, but with Wattie’s punk principles writ large across every heads-down sprint and flesh-flaying hook. Now all we need is a new album. Up the punx!

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.