Not an album to listen to unless you’ve known what it is to struggle…
Sleaford Mods - Chubbed Up +

Not to be mistaken for a swift follow-up proper to their ‘Divide And Exit’ album, released earlier in 2014, ‘Chubbed Up +’ is a physical, expanded edition of Sleaford Mods’ first retrospective compilation, released on Mike Patton’s similarly uncompromising Ipecac imprint.

Across its 12 raw, angry tracks, ‘Chubbed Up +’ answers the question that no-one was really ever asking: what would it sound like if you took Mark E. Smith or John Cooper Clarke’s observational poetry, added innumerable expletives and married those to Sheep On Drugs’ lo-fi electronics?

Frontman Jason Williamson is a an arch-ranter railing against social inequality and injustice, a political punk protester of the most base sort, possessing such a venomous, bile-filled delivery that you do wonder what his blood pressure must be like. His bitterness takes in everything from boredom to Job Centre apathy to suit-wearing Sonic Youth fans and all the many points in between; given the breadth of subject matter, this is not an album to listen to unless you've known what it is to struggle like Williamson evidently has.

Serious though he may intend to be, through the combination of Williamson’s Mr. Angry rants and Andrew Fearn’s tinny keyboards, Sleaford Mods do have a tendency to sound like a bit of a novelty – much as the Sex Pistols now seem a bit daft with the passage of time – even if the turmoil they grew out of is worthy of such bile-filled complaints.

5/10

Words: Mat Smith

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