ALBUM REVIEW: Eton Alive – Sleaford Mods
BY ABI WHISTANCE
The novelty of the same-old-same-old soon grows tiresome for a lot of bands, but certainly not for Sleaford Mods. The quirky recurring riffs nearly all of their material carries creates something all the more sinister on new release Eton Alive, and expecting anything different from these guys just wouldn’t be rational. They’ve hit the minimalist nail right on the head; they don’t need to leave the realms of what they know works for them and they haven’t on this album.
Yet despite the sound remaining very similar to what we’ve come to expect from the electro-punk two-piece, it’s undeniable that this album is still the bleakest to date. You can’t help but feel proper heavy when listening to it, ploughing through the LP prompting even the most mentally resilient of folk to reflect on how shite the world is at the moment. Running commentaries on the state of affairs seem all the more bitter here; tracks like Top It Up and Flipside feel even more resentful than what we’re used to hearing, anger overflowing from Williamson like a pan on too high of a heat.
We do see an odd vocal venture from the usual ranting and raging on a few tracks though, with Williamson having a go at singing on a handful of songs. It’s hard to tell how well this works for them; alone tracks like Come Up To Me and Firewall are pretty good listens, but amongst the rest of the album they feel a little out of place. The combination of this softer side to Sleaford Mods with the pure rage it’s followed by is a little confusing, inciting a bit of questionable musical whiplash at times.
Nevertheless Eton Alive is likely to be a cult favourite, the cynical nature of it sure to prove popular amongst fans and newbies alike. The emergence of a punk ‘fad’ again over the past few years will do well for these guys; their material now slipping into popular alternative culture more comfortably than once anticipated.
Sleaford Mods release their fifth studio album Eton Alive on Friday 22nd February via their own record label Extreme Eating. In support of the release Sleaford Mods are undertaking a 33-date tour of the UK, full dates are listed below:
01 – NEWCASTLE, BOILER SHOP 02 – LIVERPOOL, O2 ACADEMY 06 – YORK, FIBBERS 07 – HULL, ASYLUM 08 – MIDDLEBROUGH, TOWN HALL 09 – LEEDS, STYLUS 13 – HOLMFIRTH, PICTUREDROME 14 – SHEFFIELD, PLUG 15 – MANCHESTER, ACADEMY 16 – KENDAL, BREWERY ARTS CENTRE 21 – LINCOLN, ENGINE SHED 22 – STOKE, SUGARMILL 23 – BIRMINGHAM, O2 INSTITUTE APRIL
04 – CHESTER, LIVE ROOMS 05 – CARDIFF, UNIVERSITY Y PLAS 06 – BRISTOL, O2 ACADEMY 11 - LEAMINGTON SPA, ASSEMBLY 12 – LEICESTER, O2 ACADEMY 13 - NORWICH, UEA WATERFRONT 17 – IPSWICH, CORN EXCHANGE 18 – NORTHAMPTON, ROADMENDER 19 – MARGATE, DREAMLAND 20 - BEXHILLDE LA WARR, PAVILION 25 – SOUTHEND, CHINNERYS 26 – READING, SUB 89 27 – OXFORD, O2 ACADEMY MAY
02 – PORTSMOUTH, PYRAMIDS 03 – BOURNEMOUTH, OLD FIRE STATION 04 – SOUTHAMPTON, ENGINE ROOMS 09 – DERBY, THE VENUE 10 – CAMBRIDGE, JUNCTION 11 – HITCHIN, CLUB 85
image credits: Cargo Records