There is a strange paralysis gripping those people stuck somewhere between Birmingham and Berwick-Upon-Tweed in this potentially un-United Kingdom. It’s a crisis of political language and of capacities to dream new futures, but mostly it’s a crisis based on a legacy of Thatcherite destruction (yes, you too, Tony, you smarmy fuck); first the material tenets of a state that working people built, and then the very rungs of its ‘safety net.’ It’s a paralysis made all the more acute by the fact that no matter how radical Scottish independence may turn out, the notion that it will ‘inspire’ The North (never mind the Midlands) to take similarly progressive steps seems like a cold comfort. This is not enough in itself to vote ‘No,’ but when the cultural output accompanying independence gets lost in “platitudinous liberalism,” or seems to just treat ‘culture’ as a middle-class museum piece with a crucially high price-tag — a pretty piece in Scotland’s economic puzzle — it’s fair to be concerned. Luckily, Sleaford Mods have found their own political language, a sewer of FUCKS, wit and rage, flowing through the cracks of a Britain deemed ‘broken’ so that it was just that bit easier to sell-off.
The bus, the pervasive grey damp, the circling pummels of a post-punk backing track; all indexing a familiar Midlands/Northern experience, environments built with love and exasperation. Sleaford Mods let you scream each line back at yourself, a cathartic deliverance aimed at a world where the problem is not exposing the fact that everything is fucked (that’s evident), but finding a way to move beyond analysis when every critique just underlines the fact of our desperation. There is what Zizek might call a ‘Divine Violence’ to songs like “Tied Up In Nottz,” not a simple revenge, or a calculated move towards political goals, but a Popeye’s Spinach can of rage for your post-fordist anomie. Songs to make you feel ready to punch through walls. Of course, the Mods would stick up two e-cigarette-smoked fingers at such academic wankery, each tune on recent singles collection “Chubbed Up” and last album “Austerity Dogs” doubling as a sonic bullshit-detector for our (my?) personal lapses into the dying language of the ‘undergraduate humanities student.’ This is an eruption from a world that politicians in London and Edinburgh seem to be willfully constructing as a ‘desolate’ foil to their Capital dreams. In such times we remember that hope rarely comes with a 10 point prospective, and though (or perhaps because) “Tied Up In Nottz” is all derision, destruction, and post-colonal screaming, Sleaford Mods are a fucking life-line.
“Tied Up In Nottz” is taken from the new Sleaford Mods album Divide and Exit, ‘out soon’ on Harbinger Sound.
• Sleaford Mods: http://sleafordmods.com
• Harbinger Sound: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harbinger-Sound/443402229062491