Sleaford Mods
Austerity Dogs


4.0
excellent

Review

by Final Origin USER (41 Reviews)
July 3rd, 2015 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Austerity Dogs is a strong, ferocious debut by the post-punk/hip-hop duo from Nottingham, UK, with plenty to shout and argue about in working class Britain.

“It’s a ***hole, but its home”, Jason Williamson, frontman of UK post-punk/hip-hop Sleaford Mods, states about the city of Nottingham, where the band is based. The visible anger emanating from the lyrical and vocal delivery of Jason Williamson on any Sleaford Mods track is bred from the experience of the realities of everyday life in Nottingham; lack of opportunities, social disorder, locked in as a dead-end labour worker, pissed off in general. Sleaford Mods call themselves ‘electronic munt minimalist punk-hop rants for the working class’, it is incredibly hard to argue with that statement, as ‘Austerity Dogs’ is the perfect embodiment of the realities of everyday working class people within times of tax increases and the cuts on disposable income.

A noticeable element of the album holistically is the sonic approach within the production; it is minimal and not very dynamic in the palette of instruments and sounds used. ‘Austerity Dogs’ is driven by post-punk basslines that loop consistently with rough cuts of drum clips, with the occasional synth melody to add a bit of texture to the tracks; these are all created by the other half of Sleaford Mods, Andrew Fearn. It all sounds mundane and coarse, but that is the charm and also it serves a colossal purpose; it encapsulates the imagery and environment of working class Britain and fuses with Williamson’s impassioned, irate vocal rants about Boris Johnson and Gordon Brown being ‘wankers’ on the track ‘My Jampandy’. This track only has two different notes played on the bass guitar with a drum loop, but it is easily one of the catchiest and effective tracks you will hear.

‘Fizzy’ continues the outrage of everyday working life, with Williamson rambling at his boss ,“Callin' all the workers plebs/You better think about the future/You better think about your neck/You better think about the *** hairdo you got mate/I work my dreams off for two bits of ravioli/And a warm bottle of Smirnoff/Under a manager that doesn't have a ***in' clue”. This track is a highlight of the album, and also showcases how effective Williamson is in getting the message across, with his Mark E Grant/Shaun Ryder-esque vocal and lyrical delivery, it is intimidating and strong in local accent, but you find yourself hanging onto every word that he says because it is honest and believable; a quality that makes Sleaford Mods so endearing.

‘Austerity Dogs’ is a dark, rough and ferocious album with a very comical side, looking at the state of Britain from the working class perspective at almost disbelief. The rough production, lyrics and vocal delivery are an interesting listen and radical in the current UK music scene. There are points within the album where it does overstay its welcome to the point of exhaustion, mainly on the second half where tracks such as ‘***street’ and ‘Don’t Wanna Disco Or 2’ are much weaker on impact, they seem to trudge along without any real direction. You can argue that the one-dimensional approach to the production with the lack of any dynamics after 25 minutes could be the reason for these tracks falling flat, but they are certainly not as catchy and powerful as the earlier tracks. ‘Austerity Dogs’ though is a very strong raw debut full of honesty and intensity. It will polarise the general public with its minimalistic and curse-riddled lyric content, but that is the purpose of this release, just as Williamson talks about how austerity splits the social classes.



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user ratings (15)
Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Final Origin
July 3rd 2015


820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You can hear the album here:



https://sleafordmods.bandcamp.com/album/austerity-dogs



Album is available on vinyl, CD anywhere online. Sleaford Mods are guilty of increasing my usage of swear words...

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2015


17100 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think these dudes are pretty entertaining but they remind me of the sort of characters Jez and Super Hans would run into on the bedsit band circuit in Peep Show

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 3rd 2015


8499 Comments


I'd compare them to Shawn Ryder and Bez but Jez and Super Hans are also apt

Digging: Godflesh - Post Self

Final Origin
July 3rd 2015


820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Their recent Glastonbury performance was stellar

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2015


17100 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Stella? Would have these lads down as Tennent's Super types

Final Origin
July 3rd 2015


820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha definitely!

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2015


13356 Comments


Yeah i watched their glastonbury set on the telly, got my interest. Both looked off their tits the whole time haha

Digging: Slint - Spiderland

jefflebowski
July 3rd 2015


8561 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review. I feel like this has retrospectively been acclaimed as some kind of 'state of the nation' address by critics ever since divide and exit came out when really it's the same miserable ranting they'd been doing for years, but this time happened to come out in the middle of a recession. Still enjoyable as hell though

Final Origin
July 3rd 2015


820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah they have been going for years before this album, but I think this is their first major release.

jefflebowski
July 3rd 2015


8561 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the album before this ('wank') is my favorite of theirs to be honest, if only for the name

idontcareaboutthis
July 5th 2015


952 Comments


post-punk and hip-hop? color me intrigued (and hopefully it won't end up like a limp limp bizkit)

InfamousGrouse
July 5th 2015


4285 Comments


Never given these gentlemen a spin but here's a good read: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jul/05/sleaford-mods-interview-key-markets

MattTD
July 5th 2015


678 Comments


So it's a less shit Slaves basically

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 5th 2015


8499 Comments


Slaves are fucking shit, these lot are not

Final Origin
July 5th 2015


820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There is an amusing rivalry going on between Slaves and Sleaford Mods at the moment, but yeah, Slaves are bollocks.

Final Origin
July 12th 2015


820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I use the term hip-hop very loosely here, its more punk with extremely mental rants then anything xD

zakalwe
December 4th 2016


23718 Comments


Been listening to their stuff all weekend. The albums aren't bad at all but their live performances are something else. Greatest frontman of the past 20yrs absolutely no question.

Digging: Swarms - Black Chapel Sun

zakalwe
March 15th 2017


23718 Comments


Hold on Hold on more Rock n Roll what a con.
Best band of the last 20yrs absolutely no question.
This one is the brashest, takes no prisoners. As a 'debut' its right up there.


EphemeralEternity
March 15th 2017


3004 Comments


that's a big fucking statement zak.



zakalwe
March 15th 2017


23718 Comments


Nobody can match 'em mate.
Delivery, charisma, class, ideals, attitude, reflections on the mundane, failure to compromise, lyrics, live performances, albums, representing 'us' and doing their own thing.

They tick the lot and are top of the lot for a chunk of those so fuck it I'm going all in....my new fave band. Ever!!





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