Sleaford Mods fifth studio album Eton Alive pushes the Nottingham duos tongue-in-cheek attitude towards the current state of the world to the foreground. Although slightly repetitive, Eton Alive is still an incredible album and a great move forward for the duo. Despite the albums title, it does not hover over the idea of a rich upper class causing all the problems in the UK, but rather chooses to look at more mundane, everyday issues giving us a bleak but comical take of everyday life.
Not ones to shy away from controversy, Sleaford Mods have been part of an ongoing ‘beef’, so to speak, in the run up to the release of this album, with the bands IDLES and Fat White Family. Whether this be a promotion stunt or a genuine tif, it still garnered a good amount of attention and anticipation for Eton Alive.
The opening track ‘Into the Payzone’ kicks off the album with a fast-paced baseline and a belch, setting the tone for the quick and somewhat grim album. ‘Into the Payzone’ discusses the issues of buying things for the sake of buying and displays the Mods dismay at how many people do this.
“You’re just saying it all to look good” is repeated by the Mods before the second chorus on Eton Alive’s second track. The oddly named ‘Kebab Spider’ which offers a view on how people do things and say things they don’t mean; again, displaying issues we face every day.
‘When You Come Up To Me’ almost seems out of place on this album. The backing track and the lyrics would not be out of place in the mid-80’s, providing a peaceful break from the aggressive vocals of frontman Jason Williamson as he adapts a more soothing tone. Although almost out of place it still works well within the albums framework as a place to pause and think.
Eton Alive is an incredible album and a great move forward for the duo
The albums closing track ‘Negative Script’ is a gritty end to Eton Alive and displays how we are brought up with our own ‘Negative Script’ and struggle to shake it despite wanting to get rid. Pounding drums guide us out of the album and back to facing the struggles Sleaford Mods brought to life in perhaps, their best album to date.