April 12, 2024

Sleaford Mods – Chubbed Up+

Released:   IPECAC           27TH October, 2014


You won’t hear a more divisive album any time soon – promise. Sleaford Mods are a slap in the face, an insult, hilarious, spot-on, a taste of the gutter, a wasted opportunity, a celebration of degradation. Hilarious is the big word here – I challenge you not to crack up at the audaciousness, fearlessness or pointlessness of some of the lines here. Chubbed Up + is a compilation getting its first physical release with a few bonus tracks – so a pretty good jumping on point.


Largely Jason Williamson, creating lyrics and backing tracks since 2006, the last couple of years have seen Andrew Fearn join in, creating rhythm loops in the studio (and spending gigs standing around with his hands deep in his tracky bottoms). Tracks are really simple and raw and very much of a pattern, looping something you may or may not know, while Williamson vents wildly over the top. His diatribes are like a good day on the number two bus in Leeds, sitting next to a gently steaming drunk spouting his opinions on the world. Like a cross between Mark E Smith and a street beggar, Williamson spews the anger disenfranchisement and hopelessness across each track, following surreal trains of thought between obvious targets.


Here’s the thing – Williamson is not an angry youth; he’s in his forties but his fury is that of someone with nothing to lose, a No Future of this century.  Targets include middle aged men playing verbal top trumps with stories of their youth, the dole office, crappy clubs, old pop stars, anyone who spouts platitudes and most strongly, the system. He frequently sounds like an unmoderated internal voice – an anti-Jiminy Cricket. As he says we are “the first generation to take a real drop in living standards”. In tracks like Black Monday, there is a gritty urban poetry in the wordplay that recalls John Cooper Clarke, while the demotic voice of Tweet Tweet Tweet could almost be a quote from a Peter Reading (check him out if you like your poetry grim). The lyrics stumble back and forth between clever and stupid, often hopping into stream of consciousness with jumps of subject you will or won’t get.


Jobseeker is a hilarious rant about Job Centres and Jolly Fucker’s meaning evades me but cracks me up every time. The quotable lines come thick and fast (literally): “Fish fingers, take the batter off”; “if you like feedback that much, get a job at the council” (about My Bloody Valentine Fans): “It’s not a pyramid”; “Pubic Hair Limited”; “Who gives a f… about yesterday’s heroes”.


Perhaps better experienced as singles or EPs, before the attack blunts itself, this compilation will wake you up.

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