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Sleaford Mods - UK Grim (Album Review)

Monday, 13 March 2023 Written by Jack Terry

Releasing seven albums in 10 years is no mean feat, but when your music focuses on taking potshots at arseholes and austerity like Sleaford Mods' does, it sadly seems you'll never be short of content. 

The past decade has allowed the duo of Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn to combine the scathing social commentary of John Cooper Clarke with The Streets’ tales of working class life to storming effect, and they've done so once again on 'UK Grim'.

Kicking off with the title track, the scene is set for their latest manifesto. Featuring lyrics like "in England nobody can hear you scream" and "I got crisis stamina", Williamson spits venom left and right over the fidgeting dubplates and sparse drum machines that make up Fearn's minimalist beats. 

Right Wing Beast and the superb Tory Kong add yet more layers to the duo's disgust at the ruling class and how out of touch those at the top are with the rest.

Elsewhere, Pit2Pit dials up the aggro and filters into the type of antagonistic chanting you'd expect in the terraces of a non-league football ground. There's also a genuine argument to be made for So Trendy (which features Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell in peak form) to be one of the songs of the year so far—punk to its core and infectious, this is one of the best tracks Sleaford Mods have recorded in years.

But amid the highlights, there are some real stinkers, namely Smash Each Other Up and Don, which both threaten to ground 'UK Grim' right at its midpoint. It seems as if all of Williamson's furious energy ceases to exist and compared to the likes of Tilldipper or DIwhy, it sounds like his heart is not in these songs. 

There are also occasions where 'UK Grim' stumbles into bloke-at-the-pub-on-the-karaoke-machine territory. Williamson's warbling stays true to the everyman ethos that drives Sleaford Mods, but compared to the punchier spoken-word vocals that have become their bread and butter, tracks like Rhythms Of Class and Apart From You can be a chore to get through.

Not that Sleaford Mods will give a monkey's what anyone thinks, mind you. On 'UK Grim', they call out the crap they see around them, and they've done it the way they want to. When everything feels so bleak, who can really blame them? 

Sleaford Mods Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue March 14 2023 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Wed March 15 2023 - KINGSTON Pryzm
Wed November 22 2023 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Thu November 23 2023 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Sat November 25 2023 - DUBLIN National Stadium
Tue November 28 2023 - LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Wed November 29 2023 - MANCHESTER O2 Victoria Warehouse
Thu November 30 2023 - BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Sat December 02 2023 - LONDON Alexandra Palace

Compare & Buy Sleaford Mods Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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