Sleaford Mods – ‘Tiswas’ EP

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More foul-mouthed social commentary from the angry Notts duo

Despite being the mouthpiece for one of the most talked-about British acts of 2014, Sleaford Mods frontman Jason Williamson only packed in his day job last month. For the foreseeable future, then, ‘Tiswas’ will be the Nottingham duo’s last release created under the cosh of mind-numbing office-bound labour.

While Williamson’s lyrics have mined inspiration from this drudgery with rare shrewdness, the closest thing he and backing track maestro Andrew Fearn currently have to an ’orrible boss is Invada Records’ Geoff Barrow (also of Portishead) – with whom he shares a common interest in being rude in public about crap bands. This EP’s title cut, taken from the brilliant ‘Divide & Exit’ album, indiscriminately pokes fun at guitar-shop retro rock chumps. “The dinosaurs are stuck on Denmark Street/The boots of Hendrix lick my fee”, Williamson speak-sings, over a post-punk rhythm.

Anyone concerned that the increasing bankability of Sleaford Mods might inspire a more polished approach has little to fear, based on this record’s four new songs. Fearn’s beats are still skeletal and rudimentary. ‘Bunch Of Cunts’ is an endlessly repeated two-second drum loop and a repository for Williamson to collect unconnected thoughts. Dr Dre (“them headphones are shit”) gets caught in the crossfire, but the Beats billionaire lucks out compared to Johnny Borrell: ‘6 Horsemen (The Brixtons)’ interrupts its funky grumble about, possibly, south London punk poseurs to call the erstwhile Razorlight singer a “thick cunt”.

‘The Demon’ and ‘The Mail Don’t Fail’ are shuffling bedroom hip-hop over which the vocalist throws darts at, respectively, the modern war industry and a daily newspaper of note. In the hands of almost anyone else, these subjects would spell disaster. Williamson, savvy enough to realise this, uses them as jump-off points for dense thickets of lyrical free association, and confirms that no one else in the game says “fuck all” or “mate” with such exacting relish. There’s no reason why escaping the rat race should quell Sleaford Mods’ sparkling form in this field, either.

Noel Gardner

Details

Director: Andrew Fearn
Record label: Invada
Release date: 24 Nov, 2014