Stiff Little Fingers were Northern Ireland's contribution to the punk scene of the late 1970's. They featured a raw and hard punk sound and have been described as "the Irish Clash". Their first album, Inflammable material, was released in 1979 and introduced anthems such as: Suspect Device and Alternative Ulster. Their next album Nobody's Hero, was their first album, after signing to Chrysallis records. Probably my favourite album by these guys and an excelent punk album.
Jake Burns-Vocals, guitar
Gotta Gettaway blasts open the album with strong guitar playing and a consistent bass line. This is such an amazing song, My favourite song by SLF. The lyrics are also impressive. Well chosen opener for an album. The next song, Wait And See is a reflection of the bands early days and how hard it was for them to find a contract. Again strong guitar playing. The interlude slows the song done a bit but, surprisingly, doesn't sound out of place. Fly The Flag, is another great track. The intro makes it sound like a standard rock song, don't let that fool you, this one of the best songs on the album. The drum playing here is admirable as are the quality of the lyrics. It is a subtle look at British control of Northern Ireland and how they feel like they have to swear loyalty to Britain.
At The Edge was their break through single for this album and this is no surprise. Brilliant guitar and bass playing and strong lyrics. This is probably one of their most famous songs and it is no surprise. One of the best songs on the album. The title track follows next and was another single. This features, probably the strongest drumming on this album and swell guitar playing. The song is a reflection of the band wanting to be themselves and not changing for anyone. The next track is the weakest on the album. Bloody Dub, is a dub version of Bloody Sunday and just sounds poor. The next song boosts the album's status. Doesn't Make It Alright is a cover of a Specials song, an anti-racist anthem. The song has been speeded up a bit and sounds a bit more punky but is still great.
I Don't Like You is up next. Not as strong as the previous song but still good. the only bit worth mentioning about this song is the guitar playing. Pretty superb work. No Change is the shortest song on the album but is still enjoyable. Again, great riffs and bass lines. The next song is another classic. Tin Soldiers is about someone with a hard life, who can only join the armed forces as an option for employment. There is a strong militaristic drum beat (sounds like a march). The lyrics sound very meaninful and symbolic, maybe one of the band members had a friend who's life turned out like this. This a great way to end the album. Now, however you can buy the album with additional tracks.
Bloody Sunday, b-side for Gotta Gettaway, is another strong punk song. The title is misleading as I thought it would be about the Bloody Sunday of 1972. However, it is about how dull Sunday's are. Straw Dogs was an album-less single. Great vocal work here, especially on the chorus, where Jake growls out the lyrics. Finally, You Can't Say Crap On The Radio, is the last music track. This is about the band being interviewed at a local radio station. They weren't impressed with what was being played and said so over the air waves. However, describing what was being played as: "crap" and "***". The song ends with an outake of the Clash's "Capital Radio". Except it is sung as "crapital radio". An interview ends the album but I won't go into that.
Amazing album by SLF, probably their best, my favourite anyway. The guitar, bass and drum playing is all strong and most of the songs are pretty amazing. Need I say more.
Fly The Flag
At The Edge
Doesn't Make It Alright
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