The Exploited - Punk's Not Dead (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Exploited

Punk's Not Dead (1981)


Oh my God. Why, why, why do people continue to love this band? This is simply one of the worst punk albums of all time, embodying everything bad about the music and the scene. Right in one little piece of plastic, you've got broad, ignorant takes on politics, preening punk fashion, violence, sexism, drunkenness, intolerance and just basic stupidity. Every punk stereotype is presented here. These guys could play punks in some horrible `80's movie. You'd be sitting at home, watching it on cable thinking, "Fuck, those movie producers don't know shit about punk."

The title track, "Punk's Not Dead" is a direct response to the intelligent and enlightening Crass song, "Punk Is Dead." While Crass offered a biting critique of the hypocrisy of major label revolution, the Exploited just manage to come across as blind idiots, still clinging to the idea that "Anarchy in the U.K." really meant more than being pissed at mum and dad.

The songs are all basically about fighting cops, fucking, getting drunk and wanting the Sex Pistols' version of "anarchy." Tell me, how is this fun? I don't like punk because it gives me a chance to beat someone up (I'd get my ass kicked, anyway), but because I'm genuinely upset by the state of things, and want to change that, even if it's just through alerting others to what's wrong in the world. The Exploited do nothing but invite people to screw things up some more.

Now, let's take a song included as a bonus track on the 2001 reissue: the cleverly titled "Fuck the Mods." Shit. Basically, they play "Jingle Bells," but change the lyrics to "Kick ‘im in the head, beat ‘im in the balls, jump upon ‘is head!" These drunken bullies are so fucking stupid that they can't think of anything to rhyme with head. It's just truly, truly upsetting.

In addition to the inane lyrics, the music itself isn't really that good. The one song that I found catchy, "Sex and Violence" (hmmm, I wonder what that's about), sounds like it's a five-minute intro to a song that's never played. The album is a chore to listen to. Wattie's voice is annoying without being distinctive and the guitar sounds far-off and tinny. The only really well-mixed instrument is the bass, which, unlike most punk albums, is audible.

But, believe me, this is crap. Now, if you like Oi!, then you have so much more to choose from, like 999, the Oppressed, Sham 69, the U.K. Subs, and especially the Angelic Upstarts. Please, don't waste your money on this filth. Just buy…hell, anything else.