We are living extraordinary times, one of the most devastating and catastrophic years in our country’s history has just passed, and right now it seems as if nothing much is going to change and yet everything has changed. Years of undervaluing those that keep this country running, underfunding the NHS, and treating people as commodities has led to a disastrous social car crash in the wake of governmental incompetence and covid, and it is going to take the investigators years to pick the bones out of it. Sleaford Mods‘ latest album takes all this in and suggests that most of us are seen as superfluous and expendable by those who govern our lives.
On Spare Ribs, Sleaford Mods prove once again that they're capable of not just surviving but thriving during difficult times. Largely written and recorded during the COVID-19 global pandemic, its songs are very much of the moment -- and what a moment. The paranoia and claustrophobia always lurking around the edges of the band's music only feel more urgent and relevant on "Out There," where the disease (whether it's COVID or hypocrisy) lurks around every corner, and "Top Room," which telegraphs the frustrations of families piled on top of each other in lockdown in its itchy beat and every time Jason Williamson exhales, "oh, f*ck this.
Six albums in, the idiosyncratic style of Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods is still very much intact on Spare Ribs. Andrew Fearn's minimalistic, catchy-as-hell beats are still propping up the antics, while Jason Williamson continues to deliver his run-down, guttural ramblings like the drunken, working-class hero we all presume him to be.
Sleaford Mods have always shoved a kebab-soaked middle finger in the face of anyone (anyone at all) deemed to be a "wanker." This record, however, sees them take chunks out of an identifiable foe -- specifically, the British government -- more specifically, shamed political advisor Dominic Cummings.
Nottingham punk duo Sleaford Mods are a relentless tour de force when it comes to attacking a range of unpleasantries in British life. This time they depict the value of human lives, addressing their expendability in the view of government and the elite, critical comparisons are made between lives and 'spare ribs' in capitalism. Sonically, connections are adjusted to the theme.