PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

Sleaford Mods: Key Markets

Sleaford Mods continue to not give a single flying f**k, to grand results.


Sleaford Mods

Key Markets

Label: Harbinger Sound
US Release Date: 2015-07-24
UK Release Date: 2015-07-24
Amazon
iTunes

The Sleaford Mods equation is simple: junkyard beats + British accent + profanity laden rants = a damn good sound. The Nottingham duo were sneakily making some of the weirdest, and best, punkish music in the UK until Divide and Exit was unleashed upon the world. Jason Williamson, the angriest man in England five years running, found his caustic monologues perfectly accented by Andrew Fearn’s decaying backgrounds, making Divide and Exit one of 2014’s best surprises. With the follow up Key Markets, Sleaford Mods have brilliantly stayed to their original formula, with a few tweaks to keep things fresh.

Williamson’s toxic vocal delivery hasn’t changed a bit in a year. His rapid fire paragraphs over the fall and death of Western Civilization are as devastating as ever. “What culture? Fuck culture” he howls on the looming “Bronx in a Six”, which appears to be a massive middle finger to the entirety of humanity, neatly wrapped up in three and a half minutes. You get the feeling that Williamson could be any of us, with the final straw just placed on his aching back. He’s ready to throttle his boss or hang himself with a tie in the cubical, but, before he’s fired or dead, he’s got a few dozen complaints to spit.

Williamson is at his most poisonous “Cunt Make it Up” and if the title didn’t tip you off, its got enough f-bombs and various other curses to peel paint. Fearn, as always, is a great partner in crime for Williamson. Live, Fearn is never ashamed of just pushing play and knocking back a beer as Williamson preforms his acidic couplets and he shouldn’t be. His beats work like broken machines, the whine of a dying air conditioner, the moan of a fuzzed-out guitar, and constant thudding drum kits are his tools of destruction, a great background for the post-apocalyptic waste of Williamson’s world. “Face to Faces” holds a slight and eerie keyboard riff floating over Williamson’s shouts and “No One’s Bothered” has one of Fearn’s finest beats, all metallic bass and thwacking drum loops.

Key Markets evolves in the slower pieces, for better and worse. Opener “Live Tonight”, despite its short run length, actually takes some time before Williamson starts calling people “wankers” over a rusty bass riff. Williamson also delivers his best send of: “you ain’t got permission to, unless I tell you to open your mouth”. The nearly funky “Silly Me” is a fascinating look into what the Mods might be in the future. Williamson slows things down for a more morose call and response game, one of the few times that his rant-rap style sounds like another artist, namely The Fall. Fearn’s work here is delicious, a bass riff dripping with slime over a drum line that sounds just behind the beat.

Key Markets certainly doesn’t fall apart in the second half, but it can’t quite find the same highlights. “Arabia” is one of Fearn’s few missteps from the production side and Key Markets’ lack of punk tempos means that the entire album never finds a song like “Jobseeker”, “Jolly Fucker”, or “Tweet Tweet Tweet”, Sleaford Mod’s angriest and finest songs. Thankfully that doesn’t stop Williamson screaming about assholes who got “hit by the ugly stick” on “In Quiet Streets” or trying out a more hushed approach on the menacing “Rupert Trousers”.

Key Markets feels more skeletal than its older brother and suffers for it, but, as ever, Sleaford Mods seem to be in an untouchable streak, still pushing out punishing song after punishing song, with Key Markets delivering some of their best material yet in “Silly Me” and “Live Tonight”. Of course the Sleaford devotees and the duo themselves probably don’t give a fuck about what I say, or anyone else for that matter. Or rather, let me quote Williamson properly: “I couldn’t get a shit what you think about me”. And that’s what makes Sleaford Mods so exhilarating.

7

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.

Music

Peter Frampton Asks "Do You Feel Like I Do?" in Rock-Solid Book on Storied Career

British rocker Peter Frampton grew up fast before reaching meteoric heights with Frampton Comes Alive! Now the 70-year-old Grammy-winning artist facing a degenerative muscle condition looks back on his life in his new memoir and this revealing interview.

Books

Bishakh Som's 'Spellbound' Is an Innovative Take on the Graphic Memoir

Bishakh's Som's graphic memoir, Spellbound, serves as a reminder that trans memoirs need not hinge on transition narratives, or at least not on the ones we are used to seeing.

Music

Gamblers' Michael McManus Discusses Religion, Addiction, and the Importance of Writing Open-Ended Songs

Seductively approachable, Gamblers' sunny sound masks the tragedy and despair that populate the band's debut album.

Books

Peter Guralnick's 'Looking to Get Lost' Is an Ode to the Pleasures of Writing About Music

Peter Guralnick's homage to writing about music, 'Looking to Get Lost', shows how good music writing gets the music into the readers' head.

Film

In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.

Music

The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.

Television

The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.

Music

The 20 Best Tom Petty Songs

With today's release of Tom Petty's Wildflowers & All the Rest (Deluxe Edition), we're revisiting Petty's 20 best songs.

Joshua M. Miller
Music

The 11 Greatest Hits From "Greatest Hits" Compilations

It's one of the strangest pop microcosms in history: singles released exclusively from Greatest Hits compilations. We rounded 'em up and ranked 'em to find out what is truly the greatest Greatest Hit of all.

Music

When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.

Music

20 Hits of the '80s You Might Not Have Known Are Covers

There were many hit cover versions in the '80s, some of well-known originals, and some that fans may be surprised are covers.

Music

The Reign of Kindo Discuss Why We're Truly "Better Off Together"

The Reign of Kindo's Joseph Secchiaroli delves deep into their latest single and future plans, as well as how COVID-19 has affected not only the band but America as a whole.

Books

Tommy Siegel's Comic 'I Hope This Helps' Pokes at Social Media Addiction

Jukebox the Ghost's Tommy Siegel discusses his "500 Comics in 500 Days" project, which is now a new book, I Hope This Helps.

Music

Kimm Rogers' "Lie" Is an Unapologetically Political Tune (premiere)

San Diego's Kimm Rogers taps into frustration with truth-masking on "Lie". "What I found most frustrating was that no one would utter the word 'lie'."

Music

50 Years Ago B.B. King's 'Indianola Mississippi Seeds' Retooled R&B

B.B. King's passion for bringing the blues to a wider audience is in full flower on the landmark album, Indianola Mississippi Seeds.

Film

Filmmaker Marlon Riggs Knew That Silence = Death

In turning the camera on himself, even in his most vulnerable moments as a sick and dying man, filmmaker and activist Marlon Riggs demonstrated the futility of divorcing the personal from the political. These films are available now on OVID TV.

Film

The Human Animal in Natural Labitat: A Brief Study of the Outcast

The secluded island trope in films such as Cast Away and television shows such as Lost gives culture a chance to examine and explain the human animal in pristine, lab like, habitat conditions. Here is what we discover about Homo sapiens.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.