Sleaford Mods’ new EP T.C.R. is out and it’s everything you’ve come to expect from James Williamson and Andrew Fearn. Sparse, basic backing tracks from Fearn and vitriolic vocals from Williamson.
‘T.C.R.’, which stands for Total Control Racing (Scalextrics to the average Irishman) opens the E.P, fittingly it races along on a frantic hi-hat with a Ramones-esque bassline and early era Atari effects popping off in the background. Lyrically, Williamson reflects the insecurities experienced by any fledging wine buff when some “little pointy tit” in a fancy restaurant scoffs at you asking for a rioja. It’s a bit too much of a fuss frankly as the mod in question just wants to get it shoved down him. ‘T.C.R’ is a metaphor for the monotonous round and round of life the band rage against while incorporating a defence for any flak they might cop for switching from lager to wine.
On ‘I Can Tell’ Williamson has never sounded more like Ian Dury in his delivery. Drinking and drugging are on the agenda again as the lacklustre backing track plods along down a dead-end street. ‘Britain Thirst’ is a platform for Williamson to voice his concerns on the state of modern day Britain, his Britain. He’s worried about everything including his dog. This is one of the songs with a singalong refrain certain to go down well at gigs.
For the first four songs on T.C.R. Williamson is oddly subdued in his use of the gratuitous expletive but he makes up for it on closer ‘You’re a Nottshead’, an attack on the music industry and in particular blue-eyed soul boys. Perhaps a sideways dig at Paul Weller, following his expression of ambivalence towards the group. Williamson assures us on the last song that “Lad bands are fucking dead you cunt!”.
This is a decent offering from the Mods but not quite up to their usual standard, there’s a sense of clearing the creative barrels before moving on. I’m sure they won’t mind me saying that, they’re already angry.