4 March 2017
Sleaford Mods - English Tapas
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may be familiar with my love affair with the music and diatribes from Nottingham legends, Sleaford Mods. 'Divide & Exit' (review cleverly linked here) is one of my top ten albums ever and one of the best shares the blog has received from a band (always grateful for that), 'Key Markets' (review cleverly linked here) is a towering release, but I was not too bowled over by the 'TCR EP' (review cleverly linked here). They have been a name that is being dropped by so many people, they have appeared on various TV shows, articles being written about them in all areas of the press and their stock has risen to an incredibly high standard with each year. They are also constantly on tour and releasing new music, they have collaborated with Leftfield and The Prodigy - the only direction for them is up. This release is part of a one-off deal with Rough Trade Records, a legendary label who have continued to thrive over the years; is it a partnership made in heaven?
01 - Army Nights
Gym rats and the culture of gains, drinking, free calories, fixes and not giving a flying fuck - it has a bass heavy, aggressive undertone to the music which rumbles over you with their usual ranting manner. I love this as it smashes through you, steals all the booze and keeps on going out of the door, left hand side of the stage - job done!
02 - Just Like We Do
A song about opinion hipsters who hate it when their cult band gets noticed, invited to places that they could only dream about it and how these people annoy the band; but the band know that they would have felt the same as well, so the irony is not lost on them. The impersonation at the beginning is funny and I sadly know some people like that, but the song has some sick moments and it has no illusions about what is going on - again, job done!
03 - Moptop
'Moptop' has some of the heaviest bass on the album, it is a strange little number about a man who is lost in the past, his own house and mind. It is ranting, popping and crackling around you with such easy that it is surprising that it has not been made before this album. It is a cracking number, one that I can listen to again and again. It is a rant with a purpose and not one endless stream of consciousness - again, job done!
04 - Messy Anywhere
One of the slower numbers on the album, it is a song about getting off your tits and running around in the night. It is the first song I can remember that which does not have swearing in it, that is probably my biggest surprise to be honest; but they do manage to make the word country sound damming. I really like the bass, but it does not quite make it for me.
05 - Time Sands
'Time Sands' follows the same pattern of 'Messy Anywhere' as it is a slow and moody number, this one dealing with the endless repetition of a nothing life and how the dust settles on everything and nothing gets done. Sadly, it does not reach me once again, it is another one that feels a little lifeless, maybe this is by design to reflect the nature of the song.
06 - Snout
Now this is much better for me; an aggressive rant that hits multiple targets and people, egos are being slammed and the reputation and name of people is being besmirched. I really love it when they let rip and go off on one as it feels like a pressure release of aggression and tension that these guys seem to make so unique - job done on this one.
07 - Drayton Manored
This is a dark song, I mean it is a black souled, ranting, clawing, so close to the bones it can taste the blood that is dripping from it. It has a crazy hook about a trip to spar being a trip to mars - this is the other side of their game which I find intriguing. It is so fluid and hard hitting, all edges and ranting towards spectres which are solid and vapour. It is class, make no mistakes about that one - job done!
08 - Carlton Touts
Ranting about the fact the there is no opposition to anyone, toofs, drinking, fast food, the past and it just all comes together with a “you fat bastard” hook line. It is a maverick song; background music is addictive and the ranting is vicious barbs of noise. Definitely one of the best on here - job done!
09 - Cuddly
Now this is a slower number I can get with, that bullet driven song that once again hits for as many targets as possible and it smashes them with ease. There is nothing cuddly about this, it is another rant that I cannot get out of my head - another job done!
10 - Dull
Another deceptive title! It is another rant that hits Brexit, NME, expensive cars and someone having his John Thomas out in public. Its minimalist approach to the music is in conflict with the delivery on this one in my mind, but not enough to take away from the frankly sublime performance from Williamson on this one and the job is done once more.
11 - B.H.S.
A song about the way B.H.S. went under, when its owners took the funds out of the company and everyone else got screwed over as they made a profit. It is a powerful statement about how these people get away with it - indeed, no criminal charges have been brought in against the former owners of British Home Stores (and probably never will, they do not like to jail their own). This is a hard-hitting number, job done yet again.
12 - I Feel So Wrong
Ok, there is actual singing on this one and it is sort of terrifying, not because Mr Williamson cannot sing, just it is not what you are expecting. I like it, but I am still working on my true feelings towards it. It will take time and I probably end up loving it, till then - job achieved.
There are more jobs done on this then jobs not done, I take that as a victory. What we have here is a band who are in the middle of a shit storm, shouting, screaming and ranting against a world of shit, making sense with the various train of thoughts that come out of their brains. The formula for the band has not changed and that is something of a relief as there must have been a temptation to add more layers, but keeping it simple and anarchic is what made this band stand out in the first place; that is golden and worth persevering. Now, I am not gonna lie and say this is their best work; nothing will beat the impact of 'Divide & Exit' for me, it was just a lightning bolt for me and that will not change. This is more of the same, a few moments which do not quite work for me but that are necessary for the album. It will still cause a riot in an empty room and piss a lot of people off - job done.
8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my time, money and heart
Top track - Moptop
You can purchase English Tapas on Amazon here.
You can visit the Sleaford Mods website here.
You can follow the Sleaford Mods on Facebook here.
You can stream English Tapas on Spotify here.
You can stream English Tapas on Deezer here.
You can stream English Tapas on Tidal here.
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