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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS NO GOING BACK ALBUM REVIEW 2014

 

STIFF LITTLE FINGERS - NO GOING BACK

RELEASED VIA PLEDGE MUSIC

FEBRUARY 24 2014

 

 

Funded by a successful ‘PledgeMusic’ campaign which saw the required target exceeded within 5 hours, Stiff Little Fingers is back after an absence of almost 11 years with a new album ‘No Going Back’ their first since the rather good ‘Guitar and Drum’ in 2003.

 

The only real question around the release is why did it take so long? Touted since 2007 and strongly hinted at back in 2011 it’s only now we get to hear the finished work. The length of the wait, that Jake talks about in our INTERVIEW HERE, highlights how much time has passed since some of the material here was written – with tracks like ‘Full Steam Backwards’ commenting on the global financial collapse, and ’Liar’s Club’ referencing Tony Blair, George Bush Jr and Iraq. The time elapsed has ironically allowed SLF to ‘road test’ a lot of the material here and as a result we are left with a stunning album.

 

From the opening track ‘Liar’s Club’ it’s clear that thematically the ‘news’ may have changed but that SLF still talk about the things that piss them off with all the passion and anger of old. And the fact that both this track and Jakes’s personal opening up about his depression on ‘My Dark Places’  have been aired for a few years now in the live show means you couldn’t get a better start to the album.

 

It’s a record though that you are constantly surprised by, not least by its consistent quality. ‘Full Steam Backwards’ has that ‘ordinary life pissed on by the established order’ lyrical content we’ve come to love over the years. ‘I Just Care About Me’ tackles the selfishness that’s becoming more prevalent these days; while ‘Don’t mind Me’ has a little touch of reggae before becoming a driving rock song.   

 

There are mellower moments like the Irish Folk of the sinister ‘Guilty as Sin’ which gives the words so much more power treated acoustically.  Set against the newspaper rant of ‘One Man Island’ a real rocker, it’s worth mentioning the flawless tracklisting too.

 

There’s some great power pop with ‘Throw it all Away’ and ‘Good Luck With That’ which again lyrically targets the financial con-men. On an album with such great songs it’s hard to pick standouts but ‘Trail of Tears’ is probably mine, tackling racism and bigotry, it’s an explosive song, simmering and sits nicely against two songs that look backwards – the sweet pop of ‘Since Yesterday Was Here’ that you could initially level an accusation of optimism at, but which soon takes an ironic turn! There’s also closer ‘When We Were Young’ which even samples the great SLF classic ‘At the Edge’ in a funky breakdown. It’s yet another high and a great way to end what is a welcome return and what must be SLF’s best in years.


 

If you ever loved Stiff Little Fingers and wondered what they were up to these days this is a wonderful document to reassert how honest, real and essential they still are in 2014. SLF may have aged, but they’ve aged so well.

 

 

by Mark Diggins

 

STIFF LITTLE FINGERS NO GOING BACK ALBUM REVIEW 2014