Stiff Little Fingers – Guitar And Drum

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Album Review by EDF

Some things never change. As the ever-manipulative music industry keeps trying to copy images and styles, it seems to be the norm for countless new guitar bands to claim that they are punk and are influenced by punk. Well, boys and girls, here comes an old dinosaur to show you how to let out a mighty roar and mean it.

Stiff Little Fingers have always been one of the more respected groups to emerge from the punk scene. Inspired by The Clash, SLF formed in 1977 and gained a fan in the legendary John Peel, who constantly played a limited pressing of a two-track recording. Things picked up when a local fanzine asked the band to compose a song using the fanzine’s name as the title and wanted to release it as a free flexi-disc with the fanzine. That fell through but the group ended up releasing that same track ALTERNATIVE ULSTER as their first release on Rough Trade. They split in 1983 but reformed in 1988 followed by new material in 1990. Even with members coming and going, SLF still produce that raw energy and lyrics that is true to punk.

From the opening track, GUITAR AND DRUM blasting how bad the record industry is becoming, to the sincere tribute to Joe Strummer on STRUMMERVILLE and the ‘not quite expecting that’ finishing track PROTECT & SERVE, this is one beast of an album. Every single track here is a treat and just begs to be played often and very loud indeed. If this album does not feature in a best of 2003 list, then that is all the proof you need that there is no respect for good music anymore.

6 stars