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Stiff Little Fingers come off like friends who are perennially late, but fun to see. So goes this album, which consolidates the melodic advances of its predecessor, 1995's Get a Life. Gravel-voiced singer-guitarist Jake Burns is the last remaining founding member, following the exit of original drummer Dolphin Taylor, while former Jam bassist Bruce Foxton continues to make significant studio contributions. The pared-down trio propels lean, mean blasts against global economics ("You Never Hear the One That Hits You"), selfish politicians ("A River Flowing"), and sour relationships ("I Could Be Happy Yesterday"). A more diverse approach prevails elsewhere. Glistening acoustic guitars underpin "My Ever Changing Moral Stance," which appears to slam the Jam's mercurial frontman, Paul Weller; it's impossible not to imagine Foxton cackling his encouragement. Jaunty horns power Foxton's vocal showcase, "Dust in My Eye," and Irish instrumentation carries the two-part "Roaring Boys," which Burns had earmarked for an aborted solo album. The biggest surprise is a churning, rubber-burning remake of "The Message," Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's searing indictment of inner-city misery. It's a bold reminder of punk's affinity for black musical idioms -- such as when the band redid "Johnny Was," Bob Marley's lament for youth killed by stray bullets, on its incendiary 1979 debut album. Burns' lyrical vision does wax repetitive at times: For example, Get a Life's "I Don't Believe in You" becomes "You Don't Believe in Me" this time around. Yet such complaints are minor, given the avalanche of punk pygmies with nothing on their minds. Even when his pen wavers, Burns' craftsmanship and commitment have never been an issue. There are times when less is more, and this album is a shining example.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/12/2016
Label: Dissonance
UPC: 0803341445482
catalogNumber: 19
Rank: 282270

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Stiff Little Fingers   Primary Artist
Bruce Foxton   Bass Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Jake Burns   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Simon Clarke   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Roddy Lorimer   Trumpet
Tim Sanders   Tenor Saxophone
Steve Grantley   Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Group Member
Billy Miskimmin   Harmonica
Ian McCallum   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Holly Roberts   Piano,Hammond Organ
John Curtin   tin whistle
Theresa Heanue   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Stiff Little Fingers   Arranger
Bruce Foxton   Composer
Jake Burns   Composer
Grandmaster Flash   Composer
Kenny Jones   Engineer
Furious Five   Composer

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