Album Reviews

Sleaford Mods – Sleaford Mods (Rough Trade)

David Boyle

The self-titled Sleaford Mods EP follows on from their much-acclaimed full-length album of 2017, English Tapas.  Known as a techno punk duo, they have always got something to say in their sneering simplistic style of minimalistic music and they are as angry as ever in this outing.

I first heard these guys back in 2015 and was taken by a track called No One’s Bothered off Key Markets. It was their driving bass and frantic drum beat that grabbed my attention, along with the well-written lyrics of a time gone past when less seemed to be more.

The opening track here, Stick In A Five And Go, has less drum but is led by a deep bass that sounds like they are playing in a cast iron bathtub.  Simple rhyming lyrics follow with a monotone delivery. If you listen to it a few times you will be able to recite it simply and it may get under your skin enough to go back for several more helpings.  Not a particularly catchy track, it does have a bridge of sorts when a conversation is had by a postie and an online shopper who is unwilling to pay delivery costs for his package.  Does it add to the track? Not really but without it the song would feel like it is stuck on repeat.

Bang Someone Out has slightly more melody, reminiscent of the tendencies that Ian Dury and the Blockheads might have jammed out as a filler in their early days.  Essentially it captures the feelings we might all have at some stage but never do. Though in this case I suspect they have.  It does have a catchy beat and is better than the first track.

I really like Gallows Hills, their third song. It has some keyboards going on and a neat punchy beat that really makes the feet tap a little.  A slight hint of Devo comes to mind and the simple melody fills the track well.  Vocals are a little more fun and upbeat compared to the rest of the EP and it’s the pick of the tracks for me.

The last two songs, Dregs and Joke Shop, are aptly named. The former doesn’t offer much at all and is the weakest contribution by far. The latter has slightly more value to add, but, like joke shops, it’s not a track that you would come back to on a regular basis.

So, a bit of a mixed bag really.  Not sure if there is anything here that would gain new fans, but, for those who have come to expect this style of techno punk and feel like pogoing around the lounge until they release their next full album, it’s not a bad filler of time and clearly it was something they had to get off their chests. Just make sure you play it loud!

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Released: 14 Sep 2018

Written By: David Boyle

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