By Sergey Babkov.
Today, in the youtube era, when musicians around the world are constantly pelting you with their latest offerings, to find something huge and meaningful is like a sip of cool, smooth beer on a scorching summer’s day. That said, immersing yourself in Sleaford Mods is more like rapidly downing 5 cans of Strongbow on a comedown from cheap speed after a night out in Nottingham.
A genuine grassroots aesthetic encapsulated in the music of this middle age duo gives the impression that you are dealing with something really real and unrefined. Songs bursting with rage, swearing, and disdain, give a raw picture of British every day life. Social economic disparity, hypocritical politicians, pretentious celebrities, drug dealers, and everyone at the bottom. All this goes hand in hand with a range of allusions exclusively English that is really hard to comprehend if you are not local.
Musically, the early nineties had a significant influence on both guys. The vocalist, Jason Williamson, is an ex-Mod, inspired by Paul Weller, the Stone Roses, and Oasis, who never found success playing in bands of that genre. Andrew Fearn, the dude on the laptop with a beer in his hand, is responsible for music part in the duo, having been an electronic musician all his life. In the days when people at raves danced to their very last breath, he was producing something similar to Aphex Twin and other popular DJs of that time. It was a lucky coincidence that they met each other at one of Andrew’s gigs. Jason really liked his beats, as he remembers: “I heard this music and it was horrible, I thought that’s just brilliant.” They started getting together, become friends, and eventually made their first album.
To the untrained ear, their music may seem simplified and abrupt, but they’ve managed to fold it into strikingly original art with vivid base lines, raw electronic sounds, and Jason’s hip-hop–and sometimes singing– that is more like declaration. It has an inevitable punk core and wildness, that harks straight back to the 70’s. The band has made the journey from independent street band to critically acclaimed innovators recognized worldwide.
Here are my favourites: