Stiff Little Fingers
These legendary Irish punks have released their umpteenth album after their nth reunion tour and their I-can’t-count-that-highth lineup switch. The current lineup is founder Jake Burns, Steve Grantley (the drummer for Jake Burns and the Big Wheel), and Bruce Foxton (of the Jam). The band started up in 1977, naming themselves after a Vibrators song, and have been on and off of the punk scene for twenty-one years now.
Tinderbox, released in 1997, is packed with fourteen great power-pop/punk rock songs, including a great punk cover of Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message.” (You know, the song with “don’t push me, coz I’m close to the edge… “). While the band itself is listed as a three-piece, there’s an extensive horn section that sounds a lot like the fellows the Fleshtones keep on call (especially on “Dust In My Eye”). The title cut is a great power pop song about “punk frustration” with perfect vocal harmonies, so perfect, in fact, that were it transported back in time to 1967, the Monkees would’ve recorded it. “You Can Move Mountains” has even more ridiculously high backing vocals! On “Roaring Boys,” a song in two parts, in addition to what has the makings of being a great Irish traditional drinking and fighting song, they add authentic Irish pipes and real pathos. There’s even a ripping bonus track you need to search for. The kids out there who are just discovering music would be committing a crime if they didn’t get into this newest release from Stiff Little Fingers, who, I might add, are touring at this very moment. Taang!, 706 Pismo Ct., San Diego, CA 92109