To [B]SLF[/B] maturity simply means omitting the word 'punk' from punk rock and carrying on regardless. Ergo [a]Bryan Adams[/a] only with less vocal tuition...
It’s a crying shame when old punk bands mellow out instead of doing us all a favour and splitting up. There are other options, of course: The Clash survived the post-punk burn-out by shagging every genre around and birthing some decent mutant sounds of blackness. Not so the, erm, Stiffs though. To them, maturity simply means omitting the word ‘punk’ from punk rock and carrying on regardless. Ergo [a]Bryan Adams[/a] – only with less vocal tuition. Yes. Oh dear.
Bruce Foxton now plays bass for SLF, so at times ‘Hope Street’ sounds a bit like The Jam circa ’81 while ‘Tantalise’ alludes to ‘Pretty Vacant’. But don’t go worrying yourself that there is anything good about this because the whole album is set in a catch-all-30-somethings context of archaic pub rock.
‘All The Rest’ at least sounds like Terrorvision-esque nouveau rock and ‘No Faith’ has its indignant moments. But, in the main, it’s a well-beaten path of guitars that threaten but don’t deliver and horribly normal melodies/arrangements that scream Del A-fucking-mitri. As a contrast to the unrefined political angst-fest of SLF‘s earlier stuff on the accompanying ‘And Best Of All…’ compilation, ‘Hope Street’ serves as a pitiful reminder of what growing up and growing old can do to you if you’re not careful.
So lads, off to bed. You shouldn’t be up this late and you should know better.