Stiff Little Fingers 

With the New Rivals. Friday, November 16, at the Grog Shop.

Stiff Little Fingers is tied to U.K. punk's first wave by its slashing guitars and crisp, machine-gun drum fills. The band's members were rabble-rousing Irish lads led by singer Jake Burns' gruff growl, and they had a huge fan in influential British DJ John Peel, who spun their first single, "Suspect Device," over and over again. The Fingers' debut album, Inflammable Material, was released soon after and included "Alternative Ulster," a dark portrait of Belfast during the height of the IRA/Unionist conflict. They quickly followed up with the equally scintillating Nobody's Heroes, which replaced political rhetoric with youthful rebellion. The band broke up in 1982, but reunited five years later. Since then, it's released a string of studio albums and live records. Its latest CD, 2004's Guitar and Drum, features its best batch of songs in years. The Fingers are now on the road, testing some new tunes for an album due next year. They're also performing the 30-year-old Inflammable Material in its entirety, which alone is worth the price of admission.

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