STIFF LITTLE FINGERS – No Going Back Album Review (Mondo Recordings)
So this review is getting on for a year late and oddly is only happening because I’ve read other reviews. Stiff Little Fingers live album Hanx was the first album I ever bought with my own money and I got all the early singles and the first few albums after that too. Then as they went more melodic and quieter I went faster and louder. I remained aware of what they did and even saw them a few times but I felt they’d lost their spark a bit. Then in 2013 I saw them at Reading’s Sub89 and they were simply brilliant but somehow I never quite go around to buying this, their latest and crowd funded album. I kept reading rave reviews and assumed they were from die hard fans blowing on the embers but last week after seeing the album for 5.99 in HMV I decided to bite the bullet. I should have got this ages ago….
As soon as the first song snakes out of the speakers you realise it’s all there – great guitar hooks,Jake Burn’s voice all so familiar. The songs don’t sound like reheated versions of the old ones. Instead they sound like the band held back some of their best songs from years ago to release at a later date. The lyrics give the game away that time has passed. Songs about depression (My Dark Places) and a spot of banker bashing (Full Steam Backwards) are about Jake’s experiences and views on modern crises. The venoms still there along with the melodies. Moving in a heartbeat from a tuneful chorus to a momentary break in the music to snarl “you’re out on your fucking ear” there’s real passion in his delivery.
Like I say I’m a bit late to review this – there’s already plenty of good reviews already out there. If you ever, ever liked Stiff Little Fingers do yourself a favour and get this. So…oddly enough an album entitled ‘No Going Back’ turns out to be a return to form. And then some.