16 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Inflammable Material is more blistering than any other album of its era. Stiff Little Fingers were one of the first Irish punk bands, and among the first to write about the Troubles in their songs. Led by the barbed-wire vocals of Jake Burns, the political messages in “Suspect Device” and “Alternative Ulster” are packaged in songs that explode like bombs before the listener. The band specialized in furious social commentary along the lines of “White Noise” and “Law and Order,” but their buzz saw attack also proved to be the perfect complement to the pop hooks in “Barbed Wire Love” and “Breakout.” At a time when punk was growing rote and watered down, Inflammable Material presented a tightly-focused and precisely executed concept of uncontaminated fury. These songs don’t feel like a performance of rage; they embody it. The album’s ferocity is aided in no small part by the production work of Geoff Travis, Mayo Thompson and Doug Bennett. They knew exactly how to intensify every aspect of the Fingers’ sound, and the music they recorded leaps from the speakers like an electric charge.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Inflammable Material is more blistering than any other album of its era. Stiff Little Fingers were one of the first Irish punk bands, and among the first to write about the Troubles in their songs. Led by the barbed-wire vocals of Jake Burns, the political messages in “Suspect Device” and “Alternative Ulster” are packaged in songs that explode like bombs before the listener. The band specialized in furious social commentary along the lines of “White Noise” and “Law and Order,” but their buzz saw attack also proved to be the perfect complement to the pop hooks in “Barbed Wire Love” and “Breakout.” At a time when punk was growing rote and watered down, Inflammable Material presented a tightly-focused and precisely executed concept of uncontaminated fury. These songs don’t feel like a performance of rage; they embody it. The album’s ferocity is aided in no small part by the production work of Geoff Travis, Mayo Thompson and Doug Bennett. They knew exactly how to intensify every aspect of the Fingers’ sound, and the music they recorded leaps from the speakers like an electric charge.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
64 Ratings
64 Ratings
Sparticas ,

One of the best Punk albums of all Time!

This album just has to rank in the top 20 of punk albums at least. Its constant energy and great song writing keep the listener happy throughout the whole album. This is what i think of each song individually:
Suspect Device (5 stars) - The great thing about having two versions of this song on the album, is that though they both sound very different from each other, but they are almost equally great

State of Emergency (4 stars) - This song in my opinion is one of the very few from the album that ranks lower than the rest of the songs. But its still great

Here We Are Nowhere (5 stars) - A very catchy song, and its only 58 seconds long

Wasted Life (5 stars) - Inflammable Material is mostly written about rebellion against "the man", and i have to say, this one portrays this message the best out of the rest of the album

No More of That (4 stars) - Its pretty good, but gets a little repetitive

Barbed Wire Love (5 stars) - I love when the clapping comes in at the end of the song. SO good

White Noise (4 stars) - the fastest song of the bunch

Breakout (4 2/3 stars) - Almost good enough to be 5 stars, but barely misses

Law & Order (5 stars) - As you might have guessed by the title, its about rebellion against law and order.

Rough Trade (5 stars) - One of the best songs on the album

Johnny Was (4 99/100 stars) - In the review, they say this is the worst song, but i think its not at all. I actually personally think that its better than the Bob Marely version, and thats saying something. The only thing that keeps it from 5 stars is how unnessecarly long it is.

Alternative Ulster (5 stars) - Its pretty much a perfect song

Closed Groove (3 1/2 stars) - This song is very weird. It sounds like its a subliminal message at the end, when Jake Burns (singer) is robotically saying "scream whenever, you hear this tone"

Suspect Device (SIngle Version) (5 stars) - It blew me away the first time i heard it. Incredible

78 RPM (5 stars) - Very Very good

and if you really think the interview counts as part of the album:

Jake Burns Interview, Pt. 1 (4 1/2) - Its a pretty interesting interview, i guess

seveale ,

Northern Ireland Music Still Rings True!

This CD is sooooo powerful it is amazing. For those of you who dont know, The british have been wrongly treating Catholics and Irish for hundreds of years. In the 1980's, the police began imprisoning catholics (Irish Republican Army), hence the names Alternative Ulster and Barbed Wire Love. BUYYY THIS CD! If the lyrics dont get you, the guitars will!!!!

galwegian ,

best punk album ever? yeah.

it's hard to review this album without risking running afoul of the itunes rules. but the reality is that this album was a reaction the northern ireland "situation" of the late 1970s. SLF hated what the sectarian violence in northern ireland was doing to their community. and this album is a statement of that. it was timely then and it remains arguably the best punk protest album of all time. these guys literally risked their lives by writing, recording and performing these songs.

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