Sleaford Mods – “B.H.S.” (Singles Going Steady)

Sleaford Mods address the collapse of one of the UK’s oldest and most famous department store chains.

Paul Carr: Over rudimentary beats and the barest of bass lines, Sleaford Mods address the collapse of one of the UK’s oldest and most famous department store chains. Rather than a furious protest anthem for the 99% or a rousing anthem against the fat cats that get rich at the expense of the little man, it is delivered as a pithy statement of fact. A tacit acknowledgment that there is no fairness in society and the rich man is, inevitably always going to win, leaving the vultures to pick over the carcasses they leave behind. Moreover, the band maintains their ability to describe the grubby mundanity of everyday British life. There is no grandeur or attempt to explore life’s big questions. No real stylistic “growth”. This is what Sleaford Mods do, and it is what it is. Just don’t come looking for answers. [7/10]

Chris Ingalls: This couldn’t be more British if Damon Albarn wrapped it in a Union Jack covered in fish and chips. First of all, I just love that slap bass and how it pierces through the song. The heavy cockney accent suggests Paul Weller in his angrier Jam days, giving the song a genuine old-school punk feel while updating the sound just enough to give it a nice contemporary kick in the pants. The song has a nice, clean feel but is edgy and angry — just what we need in 2017. I dig it. [8/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: There’s no pretense to the newest single from Sleaford Mods. An entirely consistent beat borders on mechanical while the duo delivers a scathingly calm critique of callous corporate executives like the ones who shut down UK-based department store chain British Home Stores at no personal expense (“Laying on a boat / Well, what do you do?”). It’s the lyrical content that makes this song worth a close listen, as well as its contrast to the bouncy melody; Sleaford Mods does its job well on both counts. Clean production sends the lyrics straight to the front, and the chorus (“We’re going down and it’s no stress / We’re going down like B.H.S.”) is an earworm made to rile you up against injustice — the purest earworm there is. [7/10]

Scott Zuppardo: Nottingham, England’s not so dynamic duo with the drinking DJ usually head-bopping in the background is back with more drum ‘n’ bass, trip hop meets punk rock. Part poetry, part spoken word, part ill emceeing and no booze in this one, except for the dastardly champagne guzzling protagonist in this one. It’s fun for awhile but wears itself out quite quickly. [7/10]

Sleaford Mods’ new album, English Tapas releases the 3rd March via Rough Trade.

SCORE: 7.25