Guitar And Drum

by Stiff Little Fingers

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    "the best SLF in 20 years." - allmusic.com

    Since they reunited in 1990, Stiff Little Fingers have been releasing a new album every few years, and the discs seem to get lost in the constant glut of live reissues that pop up every six to 12 months. It's a shame, really, because the band is still very good and at times great. Signing to EMI in the U.K. was good for them, as it raised their profile a few notches. This, their second album on EMI, is actually better than their 1999 release, Hope Street, and should hopefully help the band reconnect with old fans while opening the doors for a whole new generation. Still as energetic as they've always been, Stiff Little Fingers remain true to their original sound, although the punk edge has been softened a bit (by age, perhaps?). Original SLF vocalist/guitarist Jake Burns still leads the pack, followed by former Jam bassist Bruce Foxton (a full-time SLF member for 15 years), guitarist/vocalist Ian McCallum, and drummer Steve Grantley. Burns handles most of the vocals and songwriting, but each of the members either has co-writing credit or sole writing credit on nearly half the album, adding a new dimension and depth to the band's sound. Burns shines with the harmony-laden "Dead Man Walking," the rocking yet still touching Joe Strummer tribute "Strummerville," the energetic "Best of Fools," and the anthemic title track. McCallum's two tracks, the soulful "Can't Get Away With That" and the reggae groove of "Be True to Yourself," are welcome additions to the SLF catalog. The distinctive guitar sound of the band fuels every song, with even more interplay than usual -- just listen to the first few bars of "Who Died and Made You Elvis" for proof. By the time the acoustic "Protect and Serve" finishes up the album, you'll be ready to hear it all again. They've released some fine albums over the last decade, but this is, hands down, the best SLF in 20 years.

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1.
Well, you get you entertainment Through a corporate plan Via 5 young athletes in a dancing band Who are trained to act moronically And smile on demand 'Cos it makes more money for the company man Well, it might make all The young girls hearts beat faster But it don't amuse this cynical, old bastard I believe I believe in the power of guitar and drum I believe in the hope held in a song I believe that the music makes you strong I believe in the power of guitar and drum Well, theirs are songs about heartbreak Theirs are songs about love Theirs are songs about sex sung by an eight year old And there's no one making statements 'Cos rebellion don't pay And they'd rather that you bought this Cos it's safer that way Well, I can't believe that everyone is happy With the newest teen sensation, carbon copy I believe I believe in the power of guitar and drum I believe in the hope held in a song I believe that the music makes you strong I believe in the power of guitar and drum You gotta eat McFood, lay with Barbie, drink Coca-Cola Don't do anything that marks you as solo Only use your brain for playing Nintendo Consume everything with corporate logos Eat McFood, lay with Barbie, drink Coca-Cola Don't do anything that marks you as solo Only use your brain for playing Nintendo Consume everything with corporate logos Go on ahead, make all the fat cats fatter And for God's sake don't say anything that matters I believe I believe in the power of guitar and drum I believe in the hope held in a song I believe that the music makes you strong I believe in the power of guitar and drum I believe in the power of guitar and drum I believe in the hope held in a song I believe that the music makes you strong I believe in the power of guitar and drum
2.
You lit a flame in my heart And it is burning still And every time I hear you shout It still gives me a thrill I can see you up there On a stage and jumping Yeah, I can see you up there With your right leg pumping Goodbye inspiration Voice of a generation Goodbye inspiration I won't be playing Strummerville again You wore your heart on your sleeve With honesty and pride You gave me hope, made me believe That what I did was right You brought out a passion That had long been missing Yeah, you brought out a passion That you never stopped giving Goodbye inspiration Voice of a generation Goodbye inspiration I won't be playing Strummerville again Goodbye inspiration Voice of a generation Goodbye inspiration I won't be playing Strummerville again And if music seems mundane It's 'cause the companies get their own way And all the young bands seem to say Please turn our rebellion into money So thanks for giving me my creed I'll try to stay onside You're helping me to dare to dream After all this time 'Cause I still see you up there On a stage and playing Yeah, I still see you up there I still believe in what your saying Goodbye inspiration Voice of a generation Goodbye inspiration I won't be playing Strummerville again Goodbye inspiration Voice of a generation Goodbye inspiration I won't be playing Strummerville again I'm not gonna Strummerville again I'm not gonna Strummerville again I'm not gonna Strummerville again
3.
You had us almost believing we were good enough for no one, no how You had us take it or leave it, it's the best deal you're gonna get right now son a little dig here, a little word did you really think that you could control us? Maybe we didn't make it clear, you can have your opinions but you don't own us If I ever see your face again it will be far too soon to say the things I want to say to you. You took us for this you took us for that You took us for granted you can't get away with that If there comes a time when you have to decide whether to trust in someone new they have to have faith, they have to be true, they have to believe in what you do If I ever see your face again it will be far too soon to say the things I want to say to you. You took us for this, you took us for that You took us for granted, you can't get away with that Maybe you're thinking i'm an angry man but you were building us up so we would knock each other down and you won't get away with it......no way If I ever see your face again it will be far too soon to say the things I want to say to you. You took us for this, you took us for that You took us for granted, you can't get away with that
4.
Now i'm a little bit older I'm expected to accept all the things that I can't change I'm supposed to stand aside While the fairness you can't hide is paraded before my face I won't acquiesce take second best I'm never satisfied Cos there's a fire inside won't be denied And i'm still burning see you'll never put the spark out in my soul still burning and injustice builds a bonfire in my core Still burning. If i turn my back on all the honesty you lack Would that make me more mature? By pretending to be blind, and accepting all your lies I'd be giving in for sure I won't acquiesce or take second best I'm never satisfied cos there's a fire inside won't be denied And i'm still burning you'll never put the spark out in my soul Still burning and injustice build a bonfire at my core Still burning We like to think we live in a fair & justice society Yet we can still lock a man away for 19 years Having denied him the use of witness statements That might have cleared his name and we call that justice? Not in my eyes
5.
No one knows exactly where he came from It wassomewhere in arkansaw grew up flat broke with no education Had his run-ins with the law His fists became his passport out of hell When some guys saw he used them pretty well They'd found something to sell But Sonny tell me when you were young you had to fight Became the champion And you were walkin' dynamite prayed on their fears though quite sincere They wouldn't let you change Oh can't you tell me? flying back to philly in the morning With the belt stashed in his bag he talked of how the whole world would treat him better. now he was the champ Said he'd like to give a little break But no-one listens toa despised black except a well-worn hack But Sonny tell me when you were young you had to fight Became the champion And you were walkin' dynamite prayed on their fears though quite sincere They wouldn't let you change Oh can't you tell me? Minds made up and ears closed against you You just couldn't understand You'd made them rich, yeah you'd entertained them. You were still a hated man It seemed like they had used you as their clown But never let the bastards grind you down. But Sonny tell me when you were young you had to fight Became the champion And you were walkin' dynamite prayed on their fears though quite sincere They wouldn't let you change Oh can't you tell me? But Sonny tell me when you were young you had to fight Became the champion And you were walkin' dynamite prayed on their fears though quite sincere They wouldn't let you change Oh can't you tell me? A man deserves his dignity A man deserves his pride
6.
When I went out last night I saw a dead man walking And he smiled at me As he went on his way And then he sang a song full of loss and longing Thats could break your day or make your day Why did this man seem so alone When he was standing In a crowd of laughing people laughing? When I went out last night I saw a dead man walking And he smiled at me As he went on his way
7.
Empty Sky 02:36
I talk to God sometimes, but nobody's listening I talk to God sometimes, but nobody's there What's done is done, no salvation for me I talk to God sometime but nobody's there you see it's an Empty sky, empty sky with dying stars & satellites In the end i know there's nothin' else In the end I know I'm talking to myself What's done is done I will not be deceived What's done is done & I know all that I can see is an Empty sky, empty sky with dying stars & satellites I talk to God sometimes but God knows why I talk to God sometimes but i get no reply I will not die it's the world that will end & once I'm gone I will not be back again Empty sky, empty sky with dying stars & satellites
8.
You gotta show me gotta make see You gotta give me one good reason And just because they don't agree It doesn't make them guilty of treason You say we've got to fight fire with fire We can never let them win We got to build ourselves a funeral pyre It's just the world that we're living in You know everything changes There can be no turning back We're pointing guns in the faces of strangers I hear the shout attack attack attack It's a fine, fine deviding line Between the truth and the lies sometimes I don't know what you hope to find I only know you got to be true to yourself And no you're out there on the fields of glory Fighting for my freedom I know it sounds like the same old story But you've got to stand up for what you believe in You know everything changes There can be no turning back We're pointing guns in the faces of strangers I hear the shout attack attack attack It's a fine, fine dividing line Between the truth and the lies sometimes I don't know what you hope to find I only know you got to be true to yourself Sometimes it's hard what's right and what's wrong Sometimes I feel like I don't even belong
9.
10.
Waited 03:10
I waited but you never came So everything stayed the same Coulda been great I waited I was still inspired but obviously out of tune I must be dumb as shit to think,we could blow Away these blues I waited, I waited, I waited but you...never came I waited, I kept the faith, I was patient in my own way Thought you would come, thought you would stay I waited but you never never never I was still inspired but obviously out of tune I must be dumb as shit to think,we could blow Away these blues I waited, I waited, I waited but you...never came I waited, I kept the faith, I was patient in my own way Thought you would come, thought you would stay It coulda been good it coulda been great I was hitting the best but obviously out of time I never though that I would be left behind I'd be left behind I waited, I waited, I waited but you...never came I waited but you never came So everything stayed the same Coulda been great I waited I waited, I waited, I waited but you...never came
11.
It was a different world back then Though not so long ago I thought I understood most men And now I just don't know For all that I thought myself smart I can't fix the rupture and break In my achilles' heart And all the certainties I had Here all been washed away It seems my world was built on sand It vanished in a day With all my beliefs torn apart And I'm left with now are the shards (of) my achilles' heart What seemed like dreams are really nightmares what seemed like fiction's really real When my brain won't take in what my eyes say they've seen Then we've surely reached the end So although life must soldier on A way of living now has gone A right to freedom and to be Has been denied to you and me It's difficult but we must start To undo the damage that's done To our Achilles' heart
12.
It's not a perfect world But nobody said it was, yeah nobody lied to you And it's not fair But when has it ever been and when will it ever be There's a lot you should learn about [Incomprehensible] There's a lot you should learn And with your ability learn some humility 'cause Who died and made you Elvis? Who died and made you King? Who died and made you Elvis? Who died and made you King? So you believe your press You think you're the greatest thing convinced you're the big Tam' You're an honoured guest And we're glad to have you and we're all picking up the tab There's something you should know about [Incomprehensible] There's something you should know about And it's time you got it straight, I hope i'm not too late so Who died and made you Elvis? Who died and made you King? Who died and made you Elvis? Who died and made you King? Who died? Who cashed their chips in and left you in charge? Who died and made you King? Now in the scheme of things You're no more important than that guy standing next to you So stand up straight And be what you ought to be and not what you think you are There's a lot you could give If you'd just be yourself There's a lot more you'd get if you'd Drop the superstar and just be who you are Who died and made you Elvis? Who died and made you King? Who died and made you Elvis? Who died and made you King?
13.
High And Low 02:13
She got a 2 year old in nursery And then lately got the sack She gets a phone call from her mother And she takes a little flak Cause she earns all her money now By lying on her back Yet it's just an even change she needs A lucky break she lacks She's searchin' High&low For something to believe in And for sure She knows she's has enough of dreaming If she got the start She's certain she could do it Cause it seemed complicated But there's really nothing to it He works from home everything evening Baby laxative & scales And he's make a bloody fortune If he just stays out of jail Got a network of runners And a friend who'll stand his bail Yet he's give up in a minute If he has a real career They're twoccing cars for excitement Tearing up council estates They're painting walls and doors of businesses With messages of hate Hanging round street corners till' late Cause they see no exit, no way out There's no way to escape
14.
Mama Papa It's cold in here I'm hurt and I'm bleeding and I'm really scared I don't wanna go back outside Cause the bigboys are waiting and they'll get me one more time And if we can't protect the weak How can we call ourselves strong Is the assurance that they seek So beyond us all Help me, someone, is anyone there? This man asked directions and I said I'd help Now I'm tied up and all alone And I don't think he ever plans to let me Go back home And if we can't protect the young How can we call ourselves grown They place their trust in anyone Only to lose it all And when it happens we seem so surprised Like we've not seen it all before We wring our hands & cry What do they do it for What do they do it for What do they do it for Broken fingers & the phones too far Can't even think now why I opened the door Robbed and battered I've lost all pride There was only enough cash to see that I got by And if we can't protect the old How can we call ourselves civilized? And is the comfort they deserve So difficult to provide?

about

"the best SLF in 20 years." - allmusic.com

Since they reunited in 1990, Stiff Little Fingers have been releasing a new album every few years, and the discs seem to get lost in the constant glut of live reissues that pop up every six to 12 months. It's a shame, really, because the band is still very good and at times great. Signing to EMI in the U.K. was good for them, as it raised their profile a few notches. This, their second album on EMI, is actually better than their 1999 release, Hope Street, and should hopefully help the band reconnect with old fans while opening the doors for a whole new generation. Still as energetic as they've always been, Stiff Little Fingers remain true to their original sound, although the punk edge has been softened a bit (by age, perhaps?). Original SLF vocalist/guitarist Jake Burns still leads the pack, followed by former Jam bassist Bruce Foxton (a full-time SLF member for 15 years), guitarist/vocalist Ian McCallum, and drummer Steve Grantley. Burns handles most of the vocals and songwriting, but each of the members either has co-writing credit or sole writing credit on nearly half the album, adding a new dimension and depth to the band's sound. Burns shines with the harmony-laden "Dead Man Walking," the rocking yet still touching Joe Strummer tribute "Strummerville," the energetic "Best of Fools," and the anthemic title track. McCallum's two tracks, the soulful "Can't Get Away With That" and the reggae groove of "Be True to Yourself," are welcome additions to the SLF catalog. The distinctive guitar sound of the band fuels every song, with even more interplay than usual -- just listen to the first few bars of "Who Died and Made You Elvis" for proof. By the time the acoustic "Protect and Serve" finishes up the album, you'll be ready to hear it all again. They've released some fine albums over the last decade, but this is, hands down, the best SLF in 20 years.

credits

released May 20, 2014

Produced By Stiff Little Fingers
Jake Burns Guitar, Vocals
Bruce Foxton Bass, Bass, Vocals,
Steve Grantley Drums
Ian McCallum Guitar, Vocals

Mark Thomas Engineer
Steve Woof Cover Photo, Project Manager
Gary Carverhill Artwork

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Kung Fu Records

KUNG FU RECORDS was founded in 1996 by the bass player and guitarist for THE VANDALS The label soon grew to include releases by BLINK 182, THE ATARIS, TSUNAMI BOMB, BIGWIG, KENNETH KEITH KALLENBACH, AUDIO KARATE and THE VANDALS themselves.


Kung Fu Records, a Division Of Cleopatra Records, Inc.
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