REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha
SLEAFORD MODS’ ‘DIVIDE & EXIT’ IS THE MUTT’S NOTTZ
Much of the hype surrounding the Jolly F*ckers from Nottingham seems pretty well justified.
Sleaford Mods - 'Divide & Exit' - out now on Harbinger Sound RecordsThe fact that Nottingham’s finest miserablist duo are doing so well right now is probably because Britain is pretty angry. Really quite angry indeed, in fact; we’re not just talking Jeremy Clarkson xenophobia-level irritation here. A corrupt Tory government at the helm, privatising anything they can get their blood-stained hands on… a chain-smoking, ale-drinking smarm-machine fronting a party which is already scarier than the BNP ever were because people believe what they say. Frontman Jason Williamson seems more pissed off than most which is why there has been a lot of hype apportioned to their new record ‘Divide & Exit’. That and the fact that it is pretty damn good. I think that it’s fair to say that everyone who has read this far is intelligent enough to understand that this review may contain swears. One of the things I was planning on doing for this review was to count up the number of ‘fucks’ and ‘cunts’ that are peppered liberally throughout but I ended up running out of fingers and toes before the first few tracks were through. There’s also the fact that Williamson spits out his sarcastic put-downs and derisions with such venom that he might has well be cursing constantly. One of the underestimated weapons of the Mods’ success is the seemingly effortless way that Andrew Fearn throws the backing tracks together to fit so well beneath Williamson’s rages. Repetitive beats evocative of hip-hop with some dirty, scuzzy bass thrown in; the music pretty much complements the lyrics to the extent where this record might not quite work if this were merely spoken word. The vocals themselves don’t exactly have a wide spectrum; when he’s not shouting, he’s speaking with enough sarcasm to keep Blackadder in business for centuries to come, and when he’s not speaking he’s shouting again. Sometimes concentrating on the beat is a welcome relief from what is going on up-front. Despite much of the subject matter contained in these 14 songs, there is as much here to make you laugh as there is that could make you want to tear your hair out. Some of the song titles alone are enough to raise a chuckle; ‘Tied Up In Nottz’ and ‘From Rags To Richards’ may well cause you to guffaw as you read the sleeve but the lyrics contained within carry enough swagger to warrant a hearty belly laugh. The former contains the lines;
“The smell of piss is so strong it smells like decent bacon” and the needlessly sweary “
Tied up in Nottz (with a ‘z’, you cunt)” make you wonder how either of them keep a straight face whilst churning out little ditties like this. The songs are (at times mercifully) brief. You may not want to put up with 14 songs about broken governments, fakers and quite a lot about toilets coming at you in rapid succession for 40 minutes but they are a joy to behold in smaller, more manageable chunks. There’s nothing here that outstays its welcome and all of the songs come in at under three-and-a-half minutes; Williamson doesn’t need long to make his point. Highlights come in the form of the aforementioned ‘Tied Up In Nottz’ and the dripping-with-sarcasm ‘You’re Brave’ (sample lyric
“his own private lift, shit pieces of art, matter-of-fact statements about how he’s picking his kids up in two hours. Twat. As if. You’re Brave”) There will be people that do not like this record. There will be many more - including me - who do.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10