Sleaford Mods - English Tapas album review: from Brexit to Dale Winton, still plenty to say
The concept of English Tapas, according to Sleaford Mods, is “comedy, it’s make-do, it’s ignorant and above all – it’s shit”. If that doesn’t sound particularly appetising to those who have yet to be wooed by the rather blunt charms of the prolific Nottingham duo, they may not be won over by their ninth studio album either.
Nevertheless, Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearns still have plenty to say, and as the title suggests their nuggets of wisdom are dispensed in bite-sized dishes served with varying degrees of spiciness yet all relating to modern English society.
BHS, for example, berates the role of businessman Sir Philip Green in the demise of the long-standing retailer (“Buy a company, run it down, take the money, f*ck the workers, it’s legal”). Cuddly references Brexit while simultaneously managing to namecheck Dale Winton, Supermarket Sweep and Leo Sayer, while Snout laments the rise of Snapchat and misguided patriotism in one fell swoop.
Amidst the politics, the duo still manage to have a bit of fun.
Just Like We Do acts as a tongue-in- cheek “shout-out” to their detractors fueled by jealousy (‘Given half a chance, you’d walk around like a twat, just like we do’), Moptop pokes fun at the proliferation of hipsters in British society, while Messy Anywhere tackles booze culture, albeit in a manner that offers nothing new.
Perhaps that’s the biggest problem with English Tapas: with the rat-tat-tat repetition of the soundtrack, there is enough material to enjoy, but little to inspire.
That said - although Williamson often strikes a precarious balance between “punk-poet” and “madman shouting in the street”, and there’s an inadequacy in the way of musical progress - there are just about enough thought-provoking pieces to masticate, cogitate and ruminate over