Sleaford Mods - Divide and Exit
The Nottingham punk / spoken word duo deliver an abject soundtrack to a morally bankrupted Britain
The Nottingham punk / spoken word duo of Jason Williamson (words and snarl) and Andrew Fearn (beats and basslines) are setting more metaphysical bin bags alight here with Divide and Exit, the follow-up to last year’s bombastic Austerity Dogs. The fuzzed-out, treated vocals on opener ‘Air Conditioning’ and hypnotic, riot shout out’s on ‘Tied up in Nottz’ is quite an introductory kick to the knackers – it’s also a fantastic progression, light-years away from the lazy John Cooper Clarke and The Streets comparisons which Austerity Dogs got lambasted with. JCC now does McCain’s chips ads.
Williamson’s lyrics are heavy duty sniper fire, laying waste to everything from Chumbawamba (‘Chumbawamba weren’t political, they were just crap’), Tiswas, Sir Paul McCartney, selfies, fly tipping, the Royal corgies – and even a scatological breakdown of Conservative politics on ‘Liveable Shit’. Fearn’s production has really come into its own, with even more blurry punk dissonance – aided with colourful synths and even some horns over the staccato drums patterns of ‘I Keep Out of It’, the electro on ‘You’re Brave’ and an almost industrial toughness on ‘Middle Men’, whilst retaining a certain mobile phone chirp and charm minimalism with enough texture to lube up Jason’s venomous diatribes.
The brooding sub bass and background field recording of traffic on ‘Smithy’ and the almost singalong anthem ‘Tweet Tweet Tweet’ ties together their most synergetic and mature collection of songs thus far. Overall, it’s a journey that is as depressing as it raucous, equally as sobering as it is laugh out loud hilarious in its observational cynicism. Divide and Exit is the abject soundtrack to a morally bankrupted Britain, affirmative music that would make David Cameron choke on his pastie – and probably the punkest thing you’ll get to hear all year.