Sleaford Mods – English Tapas

If the sound of Jason Williamson hoarsely venting his spleen over Andrew Fearn’s feverish beats doesn’t stir you in the slightest, odds are you are completely oblivious – or simply don’t care – about the state of this country today. Basically, 2017 must be looking pretty damn cushdy for you.

Because when those driving, crunching basslines kick in and Williamson begins pointedly painting his bleak picture of British existence, articulating the epidemic of frustration which has swept the country – Clouds are low, like the general mood / Temperatures are cooking up inside / We are the microwave food – it’s near impossible not to agree with his feelings of anger, resentment and sheer incredulity at the world we face up to today.

While the lead singer’s cutting and often hilarious observations are still the main attraction, Fearn’s rhythms now add a bit more depth and structure to proceedings. From the foreboding, spacey atmospherics of ‘Drayton Manored’ – a song detailing the repetitive life-cycle of heavy sessions and shattering comedowns – to the dark hip-hop pulsations of ‘Cuddly’ – with a chorus scoffing at the sham that was Owen Smith’s Labour leadership bid – their production game has been lifted but still maintains its minimalist charms.

It is vintage Sleaford Mods: authentic, raw and evocative. If you didn’t take them seriously before then wake up and give this a good listen – because when it comes to bruising social commentary and hitting various nails firmly on heads, there’s not another group out there that can touch them. 9/10 JF

Release date: 3rd March 

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