Stiff Little Fingers

Nobody's Heroes

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It's easy to see why Stiff Little Fingers' Rough Trade debut remains so highly rated, but for the discerning fan of second generation punk, Nobody's Heroes is every bit as special. For a start, new drummer Jim Reilly was an improvement on Brian Faloon (who gets a heartwarming tribute on "Wait and See"). Secondly, Jake Burns' songwriting collaborations with journalist Gordon Ogilvie are really beginning to pay off. The cornerstones of the LP are "Gotta Gettaway," "At the Edge," and "Tin Soldiers" -- three songs which, in different ways, brilliantly articulate the frustrated ambitions of young men in search of expression and identity, trapped in nowhere jobs or situations. Though "Suspect Device" and "Alternative Ulster" had long since ensured they would always be tagged with the label of "political punk," in truth SLF were always more interested in their immediate environment, and finding a way out of it. A couple of plausible stabs at reggae are more than an interesting aside.

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