Sleaford Mods trade in the kind of work-a-day, humdrum yarns that soundtrack life’s most mundane activities. This can easily be translated into realism but there’s no romance to the Nottingham duo’s audio personality, not like how The Smiths or early Arctic Monkeys used to dress up everyday goings on with a touch of relatable excitement. New EP ‘T.C.R’ is supposed to chronicle life’s “rotating dross” according to the pair and it does that in spades. Kitchen-sink stories when done well can strike a relatable, almost playful chord; ‘T.C.R’ is just one long dirge across 5 unremarkable tracks. The loose narrative is based on an older bloke ‘escaping’ his parenthood and domesticity for a night down the pub, only to find that his night off is as dull and unfulfilling as remaining at home with his kids. Other tracks follow a similar vein but all routes lead back to two fortysomethings from the middle of England having a grumble about anything and nothing.
Given Sleaford Mods’ hip hop leanings attributed to Jason Williamson’s rapped delivery and his fellow partner in crime, Andrew Fearn’s cumbersome beats – your mind wanders to the days of The Streets or Jamie T where real-life tales of the everyday are cloaked in mischief and excitement. ‘T.C.R’ is the polar opposite of that with excitement replaced by looping monotony. ‘T.C.R’ is just hardwork, almost like being stuck with that ranty acquaintance you try to steer clear of, and luckily seeing it’s only 5 tracks, the encounter is brief and you can rest easy knowing this was just a fleeting exchange.
Sleaford Mods have been commended for their barbed social commentary and their disdain for those that are privileged and disconnected from the struggles of everyday life on previous releases and given that the musical landscape is crying out for some grit and realism – Williamson and Fearne have found their own niche. However, ‘T.C.R’ like it’s makers have stated, is just dross.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams