Electro-punk band will fuel your hatred for society today
If the music on the radio doesn’t quite match your anger about society, listen to Sleaford Mods. The electro-punk duo from Nottingham, England have been combining rage-infused British rap with funky electronic beats since 2007, and when you’re in the mood to hate society (which can be pretty often these days), it’s an absolutely perfect combo.
Sleaford Mods’ newest album, Spare Ribs, is as cold and harsh as a winter in Nottingham. Its messages about classism and society, in general, are delivered through the angry yet charming voice of Jason Williamson and the hypnotizing electronic beats of Andrew Fearn. People will find themself entering the grimy reality that the Sleaford Mods paints for them, and the more people listen, the more they will begin to understand it (and the more it will fuel their fire).
Angry about the sleazy world of politicians and their self serving actions? “Shortcummings” will captivate one with its heavily punk-influenced beat, before leading to Williamson’s angry and to-the-point rant about politics. The song title, a double entendre, talks about the UK chief advisor to the Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings and the “shortcomings” of the lower class—something Cummings won’t understand.
“Nudge It” discusses the problematic “working class” aesthetic that some musical artists and people in general like to appropriate. It’s perfect for when one’s relatively well-off hipster friend complains about being broke while buying a Starbucks drink and moving into a gentrified neighborhood. Williamson calls this out immediately with the lyric, “you fucking class tourist.” Amy Taylor of Amyl and the Sniffers makes an appearance on this track, adding, “I’ve been putting in the work, but you’re barely even trying.”
Deeper into the album lies “Glimpses,” a clever song that calls out the never-ending cycle of consumerism. There’s great imagery with this song, specifically with the lyric: “then we caretake the warm milkshake of nowhere,” the warm milkshake in question representing the lives of the working class. A thick, warm milkshake that’s completely spoiled juxtaposes the lives of the elite. The song uses the idea of an underwear model receiving multiple pairs of expensive underwear for free, which totally devalues the underwear bought by consumers everywhere. It’s a quick “glimpse” into the world we live in.
Following behind “Glimpses” is “Top Room.” It’s made clear with this song that at least part of the album was created during the COVID-19 quarantine. The lyric, “online food and social distancing, I felt like shit” is so distinct to the cursed year that was 2020. The beat brings people in and traps them with its syncopated sound.
“Mork and Mindy” provides a much-needed singing break from Billy Nomates amongst the copious amounts of irritated rant rapping. Her voice brings a refreshing sound to it as she sings the lyrics, “too high, too low, but the system won’t go.” The song references the 1970s sitcom Mork and Mindy, which brings with it an air of nostalgia with the mention of the “really depressing cul-de-sac” that Williamson used to live in.
The album comes to an end with the song “Fishcakes,” which starts out with a paced drum beat and electronic sound. This song also brings an air of nostalgia with it, even with the title “Fishcakes,” as it mentions that “fishcakes used to fry.” This song feels more personal to the band; in fact, it’s one of the only times people really get a view into the past of Sleaford Mods. The song plays out like a story that Williamson is telling to listeners about his childhood and youth. The repeated lyric of “at least we lived” creates a nice note to end the album on.
If 2021 is already making one mad, Sleaford Mods will be alongside them. Their lyrics are filled with imagery and dry British humor, and the beat will keep people coming back for more. Let out your anger with Spare Ribs before you combust.