Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
You can be thrashed, taken apart by friends, Government and by the elements that sometimes dictate the way world turns but all you need to survive and see out the storm that tries its best to put you under is The Devil, The Heart & The Fight, hopefully supplied by those that love you, those that will fight your corner when the world is Hell bent on seeing you suffer, those that will help you raise two fingers to the world and for whatever reason smile when the world shrinks back due to its own cowardice.
The Devil, The Heart & The Fight, the great punk and Folk ethic that squares up to the face of reckless thought and the damned inconsequential with the same sense of fearlessness as a young woman looking directly into the eyes of hate and smiling down the oppressor; the Devil holds the backbone of all who look into the face of such nonsense and gives them a reason to take on the world for the good that can be seen in us all.
The six piece band truly have captured the sense of taking up arms against any oppressing force in the album, whether it is in the physical and emotional malady of allowing such political thought tumours to exist or the reality of always striving to fight for what you believe to be right; in this double album no stone is left unturned in the opportunity to show that even a ten stone heart is capable of going up against an army when that force is bent on domination.
In songs such as Wanted, Tragedy in A Minor, Injuries, Hamburg Drunk, Charlie, Grace, Fair Winds & Following Seas, and in the live tracks and sessions caught music, Skinny Lister’s The Devil, The Heart & The Fight is one of anger, passionate, sometimes ready to go further than most to see the job done, a mixture of the definition of the past masters who once showed the way but to whom now the new breed seethes with even harder determination.
Better the Devil you know, not always, and in Skinny Lister they have offered a different demon in which to feel the sense of absolute pulse and zeal with; The Devil, The Heart & The Fight is one that must always continue.
Ian D. Hall