Stiff Little Fingers

It’s been 10 years or more since Stiff Little Fingers offered us some new material, but the time hasn’t been wasted!

The LP opens with “Liars Club”, which is as good an opener as I’ve heard in a long time. The vocals, the music and the overall return to form is a sheer joy. On hearing “Liars Club” one could be forgiven for thinking they had been transported back to 1979! The powerful drum intro compliments Jake’s vocal and the great guitar lines throughout make it sound like a song of old.

“My Dark Places” follows with a great guitar and cymbal-led intro. It’s a song about personal problems i.e. depression, with strong, powerful lyrics. This is another storming song that has been well received live recently. “Full Steam Backwards” has a dark, bassy intro and that trademark SLF guitar picking we have come to love. Jake’s vocal delivery is angry as he takes more than a swipe at the Bank’s. Either that or he’s just plain angry! Nevertheless, it’s a standout song on here.

Stiff Little Fingers

“I Just Care About Me” follows on from the opening 3 tracks with Jake’s “stretched” vocal and more of Steve (Grantley’s) cymbal-led drumming. The guitar sound of old is a big feature here with a great middle 8. “Don’t Mind Me” starts slower than its predecessors but returns to form. There’s almost a reggae influence of old creeping in here which doesn’t disappoint and some hard hitting throughout.

“Guilty As Sin” is a fine mid-album acoustic number, but not lost on here. The vocals are heartfelt while the Irish Folk sound to the song works well. “One Man Island” returns the power with an almost Rock intro. Jake really bellows the vocals out on this song while the main guitar line here is great. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say there’s hints of “Electric”-era Cult on this song-it’s an absolute stormer! ‘Throwing It All Away’ previews Ian’s (McCallum) vocals, and despite being quite a departure from Jake’s vocal it doesn’t disappoint. The song itself is more “New Wave” than Punk but offers a different element to the standard SLF sound. There’s a noodly middle 8 in there with good use of Steve’s cymbal’s once more. “Good Luck With That” reminds me of “No More Heroes” era SLF, immediate and clean sounding with a strong vocal. “Trail of Tears” has a great intro while the vocal stays with the old and once shines thru’. There really isn’t much more to say! “Since Yesterday Was Here” has more than a nod towards “Back To Front”, which for this reviewer will do just fine. There’s another assault on those in power while the chiming guitars end the song perfectly.

Stiff Little Fingers

The LP ends with “When We Were Young”. Normally a song this strong is placed near the start of the LP but they’ve clearly saved the best til’ last. It’s simply great. Strong guitars and drums and a great vocal that recall the bands youth. Even the “At The Edge” edit mid-song works perfectly. More noodly guitars at the end and that hard-hitting cymbal which is a firm feature on this collection. SLF never went away, they just got better!

Live Dates

Wed 26th Mar Norwich, The Waterfront
Thu 27th Mar Ipswich, Corn Exchange
Fri 28th Mar London, The Forum
Sat 29th Mar Bristol, O2 Academy
Mon 31st Mar Exeter, Phoenix
Tue 1st Apr Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms

Liars Club
My Dark Places
Full Steam Backwards
I Just Care About Me
Don’t Mind Me
Guilty As Sin
One Man Island
Throwing It All Away
Good Luck With That
Trail Of Tears
Since Yesterday Was Here
When We Were Young


Review by Ross “Fastest Reviewer In The South” Ferrone.

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