“They sound like fucking Brown Bottle in Viz,” was Noel Gallagher’s verdict on Sleaford Mods when they accused him of having “blood on his hands” in terms of the perceived lack of ‘working class rage’ in current British music. The Nottingham duo had a point, but then, so did Gallagher; Jason Williamson does, at times, rival the comic’s drunken superhero for incoherence, and Andrew Fearns’ instrumentation, the sole backing for Williamson’s stream-of-consciousness style of frequently political lyrics, are consistently erratic, and almost always feel on the verge of collapse. And, yet, Sleaford Mods do have something important to say. It’s just that it’s often difficult to figure out quite what.

That remains the case on ‘Key Markets’, which is at its most successful when Fearns brings a sense of menace to proceedings – ‘Bronx in a Six’, for instance, on which Williamson delivers a broadside at… hipsters? The music industry? Misogyny? He’s breathlessly unfocused, as usual, just as he is on ‘Arabia’, over ominous bass, and ‘In Quiet Streets’, which is overtly political – “Miliband got hit with the ugly stick, not that it matters / The chirping cunt wants the country in tatters, they all do”. The overall theme seems to be one of equal parts disgust with and incomprehension of modern life and society. There’s no step forward from ‘Divide and Exit’ – existing fans will be sated, but if you didn’t get it last time, you won’t this time, either.


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