Honestly, I can’t remember the first time I ever heard The Exploited. Late teens? Since then, they’ve been one of my favorite old school punk bands along with others acts like Chaos U.K. and G.B.H. The combination of politics, anger, and hooks in their music has long appealed to me, especially when you grow up in vapid suburb that could never satisfy your interests. Now, you won’t find a profound manifesto on any of their albums (hell, they could never be Crass or Subhumans), so don’t bother looking for one from them. What you will find is a raucous authenticity that I really connect with. That’s part of why I’m going to see them play later this month in Sacramento. The other reason is that they’re celebrating their 40th anniversary. Yes, we’re all getting older. Wattie Buchan, their vocalist, suffered a heart attack five years ago during a performance. Somehow he managed to survive and started playing gigs again. All I can say is that I have a lot of respect for a guy who can still deliver at age 61 while sporting a red mohawk. To me, he’s proof that “punk’s not dead” in 2019. I’m looking forward to hearing songs like “Alternative,” “Cop Cars,” “Dead Cities,” “Let’s Start a War,” and “Chaos is My Life.” Sound ironic coming from me? Maybe. Maybe not.
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