Key Markets is Sleaford Mods’ eighth record, but only their third since really grasping the attention of a wider audience. Thankfully their approach is no different to that taken on their first release (Sleaford Mods in 2007) - the energy, agression and lyrical genius of Jason Williamson is front and centre as always, complimented by Andrew Frean’s distinctively minimalist instrumental loops that straddle hip hop and punk rock.
The record sounds as though it was made over the course of a long boozey weekend, and - aside from the writing of the dense, bilious slew of lyrics, which are obviously laboured over - it wouldn't be surprising if it actually was. But again, sonic luciousness isn't something Sleaford Mods have ever really cared about.
The focus and attention has always been Williamson's abusive ramblings and observations and Key Markets is no exception. "I saw your shit singer, trying to look like he was studying the band's dinner / wannabes never change, it's the wannabe show / and you always wannabe the same, poser shit and leather jacket, motorbikes from the fifties / you live in Carlton you twat, you're not Snake Fucking Plissken!" being among the absolutely outstanding observations on pub bands made in "Cunt Make It Up" (though "You're a jammy slug, Mr. Salt / a twat with nine lives / you're a lucky little tit cake / Die! Die! Die!" on "Bronx In A Six" deserves its own shout out).
Simlarly to witnessing the duo live, you come away from the LP feeling like you need to let it all sink in. Williamson is so quick and witty with his references that it's not until two or three plays that you actually spot the humour in what he's expressing. It's got a way of making each track funnier, and more prescient, with every spin.
It's likely you'll have made your mind up about Sleaford Mods already, and Key Markets will do little to shift your stance. But if you're unacquainted, you need to give this a go. Having an opinion is what it's all about. Thank god for Sleaford Mods, who've got loads.