Returning with their first full length record for Rough Trade, it will be fascinating to find out what Sleaford Mods made of 2016.
The title here refers to cuisine in a pub the pair visited that consisted of "half a scotch egg, cup of chips, pickle and a mini pork pie" - a menu that sums up the useless state of England, as viewed through the lens of lead ranter Jason Williamson.
Featuring all new songs recorded with Steve Mackey (Pulp), this is sure to be one of 2017's most-anticipated releases.
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Vinyl LP £15.49 RTRADLPR925
Indies only red coloured vinyl LP on Rough Trade.
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Being the miserable sods that we are here at the towers, with every new Sleaford Mods album the only office concern seems to be when will their bubble burst? Well it's not going to happen any time soon. Initially I wasn't massively enamoured with last years 'TCR' single but then I realised I loved all the B sides..... much to my annoyance actually as these twats aren't going to give me any freaking chance to slag them off are they?
The comically titled 'English Tapas' starts like an express train - both 'Army Nights' and 'Just Like We Do' both assure immediately that this is pretty much business as usual. The latter in particular is as catchy as fuck mainly perhaps because it ...um...'shares' a melody with Cameo's 'Word Up'. Williamson's lyrics here are spot on moaning at the moaners who hate success - more visible now that any loser can whinge on social media at anyone who has done ok for themselves.
Like the 'TCR' EP, the moments I like best are where the music is starkly minimal, Jason Williamson is doing a fair bit of singing these days rather than ranting and the track that combines best these two strengths in 'Messy Anywhere'. Over a splintered, spidery bass and drum machine melody Williamson concocts a fabulous melody that creates a great tension particularly as it lurches into an off kilter chorus.
Although like 'Key Markets', 'English Tapas' isn't going to convert the naysayers, I sense a calming of that albums relentless indignation at times although they have to be careful not to become lager lout parodies of themselves - something that gets close to being realised on the 'you fat bastards' refrain of 'Carlton Touts'. There are moments however when Sleaford Mods stretch themselves and as with "Key Markets' these are the best bits. 'BHS' and 'I Feel So Wrong' are both excellent tracks to complete the album. Williamson's lyrical prowess really shines through here, brilliantly evocative lines that prove exactly what we thought Sleaford Mods were. Intelligent wordsmiths who reflect society but not in a blindly obvious way. There's no anti Brexit sloganeering here or easy meat references to Trump, Farage etc. It's anger, indignation and reflection is more subtle than that.
Signing to Rough Trade hasn't changed a thing about Sleaford Mods and although this album is purely for the already converted this is generally a good thing. These boys know what they are doing. Let's stop worrying eh?
9/10 Richard 6th April 2017
Every bit as good as all reviews b4 point out ..essental
8/10 Matt 16th March 2017
Its Sleaford Mods. You don't need a review. If you do then this ain't the record your looking for.
8/10 Peter 15th March 2017
Worth the wait! Heard some of these tracks when I saw the lads at Leeds last October and was looking forward to hearing them on this album....not dissapointed! Love the way they are evolving and refining their style....
8/10 Peter 7th April 2017
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