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Review: Sleaford Mods’ ‘English Tapas’ Is Post-Brexit Punk-Hop

Our take on the latest from the political duo

Review: Sleaford Mods, 'English Tapas'

Sleaford Mods' latest is 'English Tapas.'

Roger Sargent

“Bring back the neo-libs, I’m sorry/I didn’t fuckin’ mean to pray for anarchy!” apologizes Jason Williamson, sort of, on “Carlton Touts,” a hot rant about working class Brits boozing in Brexit’s shadow, where “the future is a flag pissed on and a kingsize bag of Quavers.” Sing-bark-rapping over post-punk groove loops, the Sleaford Mods are two forty-somethings who’ve watched their generation’s disenfranchisement for awhile – see trackmeister Andrew Fearn’s signature “STILL HATE THATCHER” T-shirt. They’re basically a Sex Pistols for the new corporatocracy.

With
a rapid-fire East Midlands brogue that’ll have most Yanks Googling every third
line, Williamson hurls verses against beats like pint glasses against a pub
wall, mirroring homeground redneck culture without apology or pandering – Nashville songwriters could learn plenty here. Rhyming “shit players”
with “Leo Sayers” (“Cuddly”), slagging a “pretentious
little bastard on social medias” (“Just Like We Do”), he’s
hilarious and furious by turns, also lasering in on the tragic: ruing
xenophobes who “wanna kill people who ain’t got a lot” (“Dull”)
and the fate of a nation sold out to capitalist pirates (“BHS”).
Sound familiar? With echoes of the Fall and Throbbing Gristle, the stark
tracks fittingly recall an era that demanded engaged art. 

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