Album Review: Sleaford Mods – 'Eton Alive'
Britain’s best band return with yet another brilliant album of minimalist street-smart genius.
Sleaford Mods are by far the best bands to come around in the last ten years. Their electronic/rap inspired beats and minimalist post punk approach, courtesy of Andrew Fearn, and Jason Williamson’s Brit slang street poetry that hits the nail on the head with vivid imagery and humour should not work. But it does, and Sleaford Mods continue to use this formula in their new album Eton Alive.
Opening track ‘Into the Payzone’ is mechanical and robotic which represents the monotony of the working life. Followed by lead single ‘Kebab Spiders’ where Jason bellows at the posers ‘Who knew? They got the experts in’ and has a dig at people who have no idea about what life is really like for the working people: ‘You’ve had a record deal for 30 years/What do you know about … shit wages?’ ‘OBCT’ is a menacing track that exhibits a melody on what sounds like a kazoo that seems to take the piss yet works extremely well. ‘Flipside’ is a great tune with a fast dubstep/drum and bass beat guaranteed to fire any listener up. Even on their fifth full length album, Jason is still not afraid to wind people up: ‘Graham Coxon looks like a left-wing Boris Johnson’.
‘Top It Up’ is classic Sleaford Mods with funny lines such as ‘These pump dickheads/Lyle and Scott’. We all know who Jason is talking about, don’t we? Jason creates another vivid character that we all know to some extent in ‘Big Burt’: ‘They call me Big Burt/Darts player’. But as with all Sleaford Mods songs, the humour is balanced out with something more real and troubling: ‘Is it £25 a month with free calls to the Promised Land?’
What else is great about Eton Alive is that it picks up where English Tapas left off. The band had begun writing more melodic songs with actual singing. For instance, ‘When You Come Up to Me’ has the same feeling as ‘I Feel So Wrong’. This proves that Sleaford Mods don’t need to rely on shouting and swearing to create great songs (although it is brilliant!) and that they can be more diverse and sensitive in their song writing.
Words by Matthew Brocklehurst
'Eton Alive' is outFriday 22nd February via their own label 'Extreme Eating'