Release Date: May 27, 2014
Record label: Harbinger Sound
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Sleaford Mods :: Divide and ExitHarbinger SoundAuthor: Patrick TaylorSleaford Mods are not from Sleaford, not mods, and not a hip-hop group. They are generally classified as punk; I came across "Divide and Exit" after I heard several people call it the punk album of the year. All I could think of when I heard them, however, was that they were a rap group.
Sometimes, in times of complacency, what we really need is a band to rock up and tell everyone to fuck off. Introducing Jason Williamson: chippy-looking geezer of a certain age, used to play in mod bands, got nowhere. Then one day he found himself in a studio ranting over a beat by Andrew Fearn, and Sleaford Mods were born. The formula is simple: Fearn drops the beat, a rickety stomp of drum machine and lurking bass guitar.
On a strong follow-up to last year’s bracing Austerity Dogs, Sleaford Mods arm their brash, aggressive secondwave punk sound with vicious and profane barbed-wire raps and gruff, repetitive choruses. The rhythms are sometimes lithe, sometimes chugging, and littered with strange slivers of tunes that bring just enough fresh air to the record to stop it becoming bleak rhetoric. Still, disappointment and bitterness loom large.
The modus operandi of prolific Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods might not sound especially promising: it's essentially angry swearing atop rudimentary bedroom synth sounds. But that would be reckoning without Jason Williamson's supremely entertaining delivery. A hybrid of Shaun Ryder stream-of-consciousness and Malcolm Tucker creative obscenity, he never sounds less than fuming, whether referencing David Cameron ("the prime minister's face hanging in the clouds like Gary Oldman's Dracula") or addressing more innocuous subject matter such as breakfast cereals ("fucking Shredded Wheat, Kellogg's Cunts" – you don't get that with Ed Sheeran).
Sleaford Mods are the type of band that force you to have an opinion on them within about five seconds of hearing their music. There are no half-measures, no stylistic arcs, no organic steps taken, no time at all to let it sink in and decide if this is something you might like. They’re a duo from Grantham in England, a place most famous for being the birthplace of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Sleaford Mods snap at you, lumber at you, insult you, your friends, probably some of your family too. They're a force of nature, of testosterone and English crossness; of bile and humour. Divide And Exit arrives a year and a short bit after Austerity Dogs, and the duo of Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn haven't been arsed to wait around for a label (there would surely be plenty ready to pick them up), instead sticking this right up on Bandcamp for free streaming and purchase.
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