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Stiff Little Fingers | Guitar and Drum | review | punk | Lollipop

Stiff Little Fingers

Guitar and Drum (Kung Fu)
by Grady Gadbow

The photo on the cover implies that Stiff Little Fingers has opened a corner music shop. New and used Fenders and Marshals, picks and sticks and sage advise from wise and friendly guys with an opinion on everything, and discount strings for the regulars. The kind of place you can spend the whole afternoon talking politics and gossip, when all you came in for was a new cable and a pack of Boomer 10s.

Unfortunately, you can't just hang out in Guitar and Drum all day cuz it's a CD, and you have to listen to it track by track. And even if was a shop, it would be in Belfast. Most Americans don't know McDick about the conflict in Northern Ireland, but we can still appreciate the brains and balls it takes to write insightful political punk songs about it from the inside without getting shot or anything.

Some of the songs might be a bit too catchy in a goofy pop sort of way, but on the whole, it's solid rock. There's no point bitching if the new album doesn't sound as raw and pissed off as Inflammable Material. That was 25 years ago, and this is a new record from a working band keeping it real. The veteran level of experience shows clearly in the songwriting. Never far from good old rock 'n' roll, the two guitar, three vocal layered attack is classic and masterful with tributes to The Clash and Motörhead, delivered in the true style and form of the originals. Mind you, I don't mean covers but real tributes in the literary sense of the word.

Jake Burns' voice is amazing. Sure, he can growl and shred if wants to, but more than most rockers, he can really sing. He's like a punk rock Paul McCartney or something.

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