Sleaford Mods don’t make music about how horrible issues are in hopes that they may get higher. Over the previous decade, Andrew Fearn and Jason Williamson have channeled public discontent and on a regular basis malaise within the UK, scrutinizing their nation’s faults in addition to their very own. And although they’ve discovered private progress and business success, the Mods’ outlook hasn’t brightened. On their new album, UK GRIM, issues are unhealthy and solely getting worse. Authorities is incompetent; hypocrisy is alive and effectively within the higher ranks of society; consumerist conformity is a plague and music can’t prevent. All this most likely seems like your current doom scroll, however UK GRIM is balanced by the mutating electro-punk of Fearn’s manufacturing and the absurdist humor with which Williamson seeds his diatribes.
Fearn has all the time thought much less is extra. “I feel folks attempt too arduous and there’s an excessive amount of turd sharpening,” he as soon as said of the competitors. His method is uniquely austere—a gradual kick drum paired with chirping birds or clanking iron, plus a prowling bass. On UK GRIM, a easy formulation (“Get a extremely crap drum beat and play a bassline over it”) nonetheless results in sudden locations. If the lyrics provide no sense of consolatory hope, there’s nonetheless the chameleonic vibrancy of the music, and the strongest tracks comprise a shifting guitar flourish that seems like connective tissue between the boldface beats and cantankerous vocals. In “On the Floor,” Fearn transforms the zaps of retro Atari video games into rubbery, panicked synth-punk. The album’s most weird spotlight, “So Stylish,” casts Perry Farrell within the position of a selfie-obsessed fitness center bro who ponders getting a “mushroom haircut and a cross earring.” Artificial bleeps and blurgs pop up like a Whac-A-Mole, balanced by an ascending distorted guitar melody that morphs into fevered surf rock.
In Williamson’s quasi-spoken social commentary, nobody comes out clear: You’re both stuffed with shit or busy coping with another person’s. “I acquired disaster stamina,” he spews on the title monitor. “Full marathon, 4 poo breaks.” Additional nonetheless: “I can really feel the shit out of your disaster rays/Spray out my again.” Ridiculous actuality requires ridiculous rhetoric, and UK GRIM is an overflowing rest room. However Williamson balances the biting takedowns—of Britain’s conservative get together on “Tory Kong” and try-hard punk wannabes on “D.I.Why”—with referential character vignettes and chaotic scenes that flip self-reflective. “Proper Wing Beast” begins by attacking ignorant partisanship however lands on a revealing monologue concerning the psychic toll that opposing values can tackle a relationship. “I thought of deleting you on socials,” he admits, breaking his sing-song tone. “Since you maintain coming in with stuff and it’s winding me as much as be sincere. I by no means see ya. I don’t wish to both.”
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