A taut, explosive Belfast-based punk band, Stiff Little Fingers (named after a Vibrators song) had the dubious distinction of being referred to as "The Irish Clash." What must have seemed like a compliment at the time did little to help their career, only because it made comparisons between the two bands inevitable. Granted, there were many similarities: both bands debuted playing revved-up late-'70s punk rock, were politically inclined, featured pissed-off lead singers, had a love for reggae, and possessed a near-palpable sense of isolation and desperation. But as we all know, the Clash offered complexity, panache, and a consistently breathtaking body of work. Stiff Little Fingers, on the other hand, were simply a very good punk rock band. With sandpaper-throated frontman Jake Burns leading the way, SLF did release an auspicious, if badly produced, debut album, Inflammable Material, that featured the band's two best songs, "Alternative Ulster" and "Suspect Device." Both were passionate, ferocious songs dealing with the harsh, deadly realities of growing up in the middle of two decades of Northern Ireland's violence.
trACks: Straw Dogs - Wasted Life - At The Edge - Hope Street - You Can Get It (If You Really Want) - Drinkin' Again - HArp - Gotta Getaway - Last Train From The Wasteland - Forensic Evidence - Race You The Grave - She Grew Up - Tim Soldiers - All The Rest - Listen - Doesn't Make It Alright - Barbed Wire Love - Piccadilly Circus - Roots, Radics, Rockers And Reggae - Suspect Device - Alternative Ulster.