Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Beyond B-Town: Sleaford Mods, Divide and Exit. Review.

Today's Beyond B-Town blog comes from the Midlands, but as far from the bands I usually blog about as you can get get. Nottingham's Sleaford Mods have received press in the NME and even the Sunday Times. if you've not heard about them then it's time you did.
Divide and Exit cover art
A lot of people at the moment like to moan about the lack of politics in the current music scene, ignoring the fact that the likes of Entter Shikari, Plan B, and of course Pussy Riot have made some pretty grand political statements in recent times. What people forget is that politics in music never really tells the full story. A few bold statements are never really the full picture. Sleaford Mods are not a political band in the traditional sense. At first their third album Divide and Exit, just sounds like a guy ranting over a basic backdrop of skittish drums and bass guitar.  Because that's exactly what it is. Their sound mixes the gritty, sparse sounds of post-punk and the sort of geezer ranting that makes Mike Skinner seem like a toff in comparison. Yet the more you listen the more you want to know what he's on about.
Sleaford Mods music comes from a dark place, "The Metropolis of Discontent" where "The smell of piss is so strong it smells like decent bacon"
 Alongside various jokes about wanking there's jabs at David Cameron and almost constant lines about distrusting or hating pricks from the upper classes. If there is a class war then Sleaford mods are fighting it, and representing the under class. If you've ever wondered why there is a lack of politics in music then maybe 'Liveable Shit' gives an explanation "The Prime-ministers face (is) hanging in the clouds like Gary Oldmans Dracula". But much like the stink that you smell every day, "You put up with it". Yet they're annoyed at the lack of anger in music too "I got an arm full of decent tunes mate, But it's all so fucking boring" "Chumbawama weren't political, they were just crap".
This album is a real grower, it's far from genius though. It gets a little repetitive towards the end. This is likely because their music came about as a happy accident, rather than some grand musical master-plan.
Best of all is 'Tweet Tweet Tweet' "Chopped heads on London's streets all you Zombies Tweet Tweet Tweet". It's a dig at smart phone addicts that I completely agree with, and it just sounds so urgent, so bleak yet life affirming all the same. When I got it from Left for Dead, the guy said that "it's the end of the world mate". I'm still not quite sure what he meant by that. But I agree with him that "It's Ace". No one is capturing the mood of the times as well as Sleaford Mods.


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