‘If Sleaford Mods did not exist it would be necessary to invent them. A band that tackle contemporary English life on their own terms, tempering their righteous fury with eloquent street wit’
The opener Into The Payzone is the weakest tune on the album to my ears, a subdued rant on contactless credit culture punctuated by cash till bleeps. Kebab Spiders cranks up the rage, hilariously calling out ‘a TV Times Johnny Ramone’, but the flat beats and keys sound like an afterthought. Treading water…?
Thankfully, the next ten songs on this intriguing album disprove that thought entirely. Arrangements are far more adventurous, textures and beats have more light and shade, contrasting the metronomic drones of earlier releases and most shocking of all Jason sings!
This evolution is most apparent on Discourse Dif, a Tom-Tom Club style austerity disco banger and the closest Sleaford Mods have come to pop with a vocal melody cleverly mirrored by the bass during the chorus. Think of Genius Of Love with anger issues. However, alongside the arrangement Jason’s edge, eloquence and dryness are still shining through. The 1975 this isn’t… neat trick.
Firewall is a meditation on mental health and repressed emotions delivered melodically in an ironically chipper tone, with beats and keys recalling the Mods of a couple of years back. Big Burt even has a middle eight(!) and features the beautiful couplet;
‘I don’t want to know God’s plan is it £25 a month and free calls to the promised land?’
‘Graham Coxon looks like a left-wing Boris Johnson.’