Friday, March 03, 2017
Sleaford Mods - English Tapas
Sleaford Mods - English Tapas
Rough Trade. cassette. rtradmc92
There’s been a regime change at work recently. A fifteen year radio fatwa came to an end when the outgoing MD [a man with a degree in Stalinist purges and a penchant for Mao like struggles] gave way to a benign duo of pointers and prodders who don’t care one way or the other whether radios are played or not. After fifteen years of radio silence the chummy tones of Ken Bruce can once more be heard drifting across the shop floor. And then one morning last week, in the department in which I work, a small CD/Radio appeared.
‘It’s got an iPod docking station too but who’s got one of them anymore?’ said the bringer of the said Bush CD/Radio.
‘I have. Have you heard of Sleaford Mods?’
So I played him ‘Bunch of Cunts’ and watched the smile on his face get wider by the second. And then a passing voice joined in, ‘BUNCH OF CUNTS!’ BUNCH OF ABSOLUTE FUCKING CUNTS! Ken Bruce has got some competition.
One of my biggest fears is that one day I’ll have to write the ‘they’re not very good anymore’ Sleaford Mods album review. My other fears are whether Donald Trump will incinerate us all in a nuclear war, Brexit and climate change so as seen in the bigger scheme of things Sleaford Mods turning out a duff album would appear to be small beer but everything is relevant. These things are important. And thankfully this is definitely not a duff album.
Their one album deal for Rough Trade could’ve resulted in a middling affair containing a decent single and a handful of songs that wouldn’t looked out of place on their last couple of albums, the rest made up from studio workouts or reworked older tracks, thank you very much, its been a laff, ta for the cheque, see you on the Calder Hebble, goodnight Vienna. But no. English Tapas is as up to date and relevant as the latest UKIP excuse, its an album that captures the zeitgeist, the whiff of excrement floating across the nation. As other bands see their days out on daytime Radio 2 Sleaford Mods have struck like burglars in the night, stealing whatever credibility todays magnolia says its got while leaving a stinky turd in Ed Sheeran’s kitchen on the way out.
English Tapas as seen on a sandwich board outside a pub by beat man Fearn. A reminder of the British trait that is taking a good idea and ruining it; pizzas topped with curry, full English in a panini, chicken tikka masala. English Tapas; a quick scan of the Red Tops, hatred buried in tittle tattle, despair as the norm and five pound family holidays in Rhyll.
Those that think this is all sweaty shouty swear words and rants may be surprised by ‘I Feel So Wrong’ the last track of the twelve in which Williamson warbles vibrato in what is um ... er … a song and because they work quickly they can knock out a single like B.H.S. in the time it takes the unacceptable face of capitalism to get his hand in his pocket. The stripped down hammering beats and wiggly bass lines are still there and you will be singing along to ‘Moptop’ and ‘Just Like We Do’, well all of ‘em really. ‘Dull’ contains the line ‘try scrolling down the website of the NME without laughing’, ‘Drayton Manored’ the line ‘a trip to Spar is like a trip to Mars’ and ‘have you ever wondered why you wonder why? in ‘Messy Anywhere’ the equally profound ‘you’re stuck in moments that have grown out of themselves’. This album is full of them and like their last three albums will still be revealing itself to you weeks and months after your first fix.
They’re off to the States and Canada soon. I wish them every success and hope that they come back with lots of ideas with which to make another album. An album I can play on the shop floor on that cheap CD/Radio. The one that keeps Ken Bruce in check.
[This review taken from the cassette version of English Tapas that has as its b-side the entire Sleaford Mods Dismaland gig from 2015].