Friday, 25 October 2013

Stiff Little Fingers

Most writings about the late-1970s punk explosion seem to focus on only two epicentres: London and New York. These were probably the two biggest concentrated areas for punk rock scenes, but they are by no means the only two.

In my opinion, some far more potent and intense music came out of a few obscure areas where there was great social unrest and/or oppression of true artistic expression. Areas such as Brisbane in Australia, and Northern Ireland, specifically Belfast.

With Northern Ireland struggling with "The Troubles" during this time, young punks took to making music to express their frustration. One of the most potent blasts from this turbulent period was the first single by Stiff Little Fingers: "Suspect Device".

The band may be more renowned for their follow-up record "Alternative Ulster", largely because it is more musically accessible to the masses. Suspect Device is righteously angry, not discussing the actual devices used in the explosions of the times, but pointing out that sections of the general populace are way more of a danger to society if they're backed into a corner for long enough. Like an animal cornered, an explosion of rage is not only imminent, but somewhat guaranteed.

The first Stiff Little Fingers LP "Inflammable Material" is an essential in any punk record collection. From start to finish it is one angry, fiery explosion of rage. It makes the Sex Pistols look like rank amateurs.

Check out the first single from the first Stiff Little Fingers album, one of many potent statements on the Troubles they wrote: "Suspect Device".

Enjoy!

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