It’s been nearly six years since I was first captivated by Sleaford Mods on Jools Holland. One man pressed the spacebar of a laptop and a gritty instrumental spewed out while he stood gently swaying with a pint in his hand. The other bloke cracked out fierce lines about being a jobseeker. In 2020 Sleaford Mods present Spare Ribs, a testament to the entirely contradictory facts that they’ve grown a lot, and yet changed so little.
The tone of the album is familiar: simple and sharp, humorous and humanistic. The fundamentals are that Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn care, and are increasingly frustrated that the Conservative government don’t (“We’re all so Tory-tired,” Williamson says on ‘The New Brick’), and that a no-frills instrumental will act as a charmed canvas for their messages to be splayed across. For catchy melodies juxtaposed with crass and expletive-laden lyrics, one needn’t go further than the brutal ‘Elocution’, which sees Williamson proclaim, “I wish I had the time to be a wanker just like you / And maybe then I’d be somewhere lovely and warm, just like you”. It’s a tireless takedown of privileged politicians living in luxury as the country falls further into poverty, and sums up what Sleaford Mods do.
It’s their most musical record yet, with more adventurous instrumentation, as well as the vocal features of Amyl and the Sniffers’ Amy Taylor and up-and-comer Billy Nomates, adding further excitement to what is a brilliantly by-the-book Sleaford Mods album.
Sleaford Mods are on the cover of the latest issue of Loud And Quiet. To order your copy, click here.
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