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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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 in order to release a record by the Riverside, California band ASSORTED JELLY BEANS. The label soon grew to include releases by BLINK 182, THE ATARIS, TSUNAMI BOMB, BIGWIG, KENNETH KEITH KALLENBACH, AUDIO KARATE and THE VANDALS themselves. ... more

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Track Name: Guitar And Drum
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
Track Name: Strummerville
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
Track Name: Can't Get Away With That
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
Track Name: Still Burning
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
Track Name: Walkin Dynamite
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
Track Name: Dead Man Walking
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
Track Name: Empty Sky
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
Track Name: Be True To Yourself
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
Track Name: Waited
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
Track Name: Achilles Heart
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
Track Name: Who Died And Made You Elvis?
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?
Track Name: High And Low
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
Track Name: Protect & Serve
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?