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. These songs thrust SLF into the limelight and got them loads of enthusiastic press, which led to a contract with the decidedly anti-punk Chrysalis label in 1980. After that, SLF released a handful of pretty good records (including a terrific live album, Hanx), but their unregenerate fast and loud punk style started to sound stale. In 1982, the band released their most non-punk record (Now Then...), which was greeted by general apathy. In a musical rut, dogged by the facile Clash comparisons, and with punk rock running out of steam, Burns pulled the plug on SLF.
Sadly, the band's breakup lasted only five years. After a string of forgettable solo singles and a stint as a BBC Radio producer, Burns, hoping to cash in on punk nostalgia, re-formed SLF (with another aging punk rocker, ex-Jam bassist Bruce Foxton) in 1987, and released a bunch of lousy (mostly live) records for the rest of the millennium. ~~ John Dougan
trACks:- Intro - Alternative Ulster - Straw Dogs - Barbed Wire Love - Wait And See - No More Of That - Tin Soldiers - Gotta Getaway - No Change - State of Emergency - Nobody's Heroes - Breakout - Wasted Life - White Christmas - Suspect Device - At The Edge.