Got any spare ribs?
On Spare Ribs, their 11th studio album in just over a decade, Sleaford Mods continue their postmodern working-class operetta, diving deep into early electronica territory, while maintaining their trademark stench.
Recorded over a three-week period between lockdowns, anger towards the British government’s COVID reaction helped shape the record. It’s a wonder the Nottingham-based duo have got any more to say after producing such an extensive back catalogue, but in a post-COVID world their lyrics feel just as relevant as ever.
Frontman Jason Williamson flirts with bygone pop melodies, taking aim at the upper classes via lyrics like “I wish I had the time to be a wanker just like you” on ‘Elocution’, while Amy Taylor of Amyl & The Sniffers makes an appearance on early track ‘Nudge It’. The song plays out like a lost ’90s Hottest 100 hit, edging out simple electronic dance beats to create a warped dingy club banger.
Sleaford Mods navigate their own crevice of the punk consciousness, and on Spare Ribs, they continue to pedal their inimitability. There’s shades of proto-synth, with ‘Glimpses’ and ‘Elocution’ in particular weaving their way through a barrage of early Depeche Mode, The Human League and Ultravox. The title track struts along like an ’80s Nine Inch Nails demo while closer ‘Fishcakes’ takes the form of a neat post-punk ditty.
Don’t be fooled though, this album isn’t just a lost masterpiece from your cool uncle’s record collection. Vocally, these tracks stick to the gritty spoken word nihilism of their previous releases, so existing listeners will still feel right at home.
Spare Ribs sees Sleaford Mods confront the disconnected society before them, finding a healthy median between commercial conformity and their working-class underground.
Spare Ribs is out on Friday January 15 through Rough Trade/Remote Control Records. Grab a copy here.
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